Stressed man

What do allergies, asthma, post-traumatic-stress disorder, and Lyme disease have in common? They are all becoming more frequent as the climate warms.

Global warming is expected to bring more dangerous heat waves, droughts, floods, and storms. According to a report published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, these extreme events can all cause serious health problems.

The threats range from water-borne pathogens that thrive in stagnant floodwaters to mental health problems caused by the stress of losing one’s home to a storm or rising sea levels.

Bell: “Every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change.”

That’s Jesse Bell of the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies and one of the authors of the report.

Bell: “There are certain populations that are more vulnerable.”

The dangers of #climatechange go far beyond polar bears and coral reefs. Click To Tweet

For example, he says, low-income people are more likely to live in pollution- and flood-prone areas. And older people, children, and people who are already ill may have a harder time coping during a heat wave, power outage, or evacuation.

So the dangers of climate change go far beyond polar bears and coral reefs. They include real and immediate threats to the health of human beings.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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