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The Effects of Climate Change on Disease & Property Damage

Climate change is affecting people all over the world. I live in the United States of America and today, I’ll let you know how climate change is affecting us. One of the ways climate change is affecting us is the warmer temperatures. Rising temperatures increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves. Heat waves can pose health risks, such as increasing the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths. According to the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), more than 11,000 Americans were reported to have died as a direct result of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke since 1979. Those that are aged 65+ are of higher concern since they are more likely to die from heat-related cardiovascular disease than the general population. And from 2001 to 2010, a total of about 28,000 heat-related hospitalizations were recorded across 20 states in the U.S.

Rising temperatures are not the only thing to worry about. Lower temperatures are also of concern. According to the EPA, more than 19,000 Americans were reported to have died from exposure to cold temperatures since 1979. But this death count could be higher as some deaths may not be reported as “cold-related” even if it was due to cold exposure.

Climate change also increases the frequency or severity of extreme weather events, such as storms. This could increase the risk of dangerous flooding, high winds, and other direct threats to people and property. Extreme weather events are already extremely dangerous and damaging. Now imagine if they were to happen even more often. It would be very hard to adapt to constant extreme weather conditions. Not only would there be a ton of damage, there will be disruptions to society, and the affordability of insurance may be reduced.

Another way that climate change is affecting the world, is the spread of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that can cause fever, fatigue, joint pain, and skin rash, as well as more serious joint and nervous system complications. According to the EPA, studies provide evidence that climate change has contributed to the expanded range of ticks, increasing the potential risk of Lyme disease, for example, in areas of Canada where the ticks were previously unable to survive. Due to deer ticks being mostly active when temperatures are above 45F, and thriving in areas with at least 85-percent humidity, the warming temperatures associated with climate change are projected to increase the range of suitable tick habitats. This would result in one of the multiple factors driving the observed spread of Lyme disease increasing.

Personally, I have been affected by climate change in many different ways. With the rising temperatures due to climate change, it means there is less snow. Because of the lessened amount of snow, there is not enough on the ground for a snow day to be called in. This may not seem like a big deal, but for most of my life, there has always been at least one snow day during the winter. Another way I have been affected is due to hotter temperatures. Over the summer, I have had frequent nosebleeds due to staying out in the heat for too long.

The threat of extreme weather conditions is pretty scary. I live by the water and on the ground floor, so a flood or heavy rainfall would be pretty dangerous. Not only would it be dangerous, it would also cause a ton of damage to my home and personal belongings.. We don’t really have any flood prevention safety measures so I do not have high hopes that I would be unaffected by such things.




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