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Global Warming and Human Health


Global Warming and Human Health ... What is global warming? Global warming is a marked and extended change in the Earth's climate for the warmer ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Warming and Human Health

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Global Warming and Human Health
By Carolyn Vasko
  • How our planet is warming and its direct effect
    on the human race

What is global warming?
  • Global warming is a marked and extended change in
    the Earths climate for the warmer
  • Climate change is an extended change in the
    Earths regular pattern of atmospheric conditions
    and its fluctuations
  • Global warming is caused by an enhanced
    greenhouse effect caused by human activity

What is the greenhouse effect?
  • The greenhouse effect is caused by the trapping
    of heat in the Earths atmosphere
  • First the Suns high frequency rays of radiation
    enter into the Earths atmosphere in the form of
    visible light
  • Next the Earth absorbs these rays and radiates
    them back into the atmosphere as infrared
    radiation, or heat

What is the greenhouse effect?
  • Since the Earths atmosphere includes certain
    gases which even in small amounts can absorb
    infrared radiation , gases such as methane,
    carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons, and nitrous oxide,
    the infrared radiation is trapped by these gases
    and can not escape the Earths atmosphere
  • Lastly, as the Earths atmosphere traps more and
    more heat the Earths atmosphere begins to
    increase the temperature of the Earth itself

What causes an enhanced greenhouse effect?
  • The greenhouse effect is caused by human
    activities which produce the greenhouse gases
    carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and
  • Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas and is
    produced by fossil fuel burning power plants,
    heating systems, factories, and modes of
    transportation that burn fossil fuels.
    Deforestation adds to the problem since most
    forest remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
    in order to produce food through photosynthesis.
  • Methane is another greenhouse gas produced by
    human use of land, including the livestock we use
    and such agricultural objects as rice fields,
    wetlands and marshes

What causes an enhanced greenhouse effect?
  • Nitrous oxide is produced by the exhaust of cars,
    human disposal of waste and human use of
    nitrogen-based fertilizers
  • Fluorocarbons are gases which are emitted when
    humans use their refrigerators and their air
  • Humans produce 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide
    annually, 300-350 million tons of methane, and
    7-13 million tons of nitrous oxide, a drastic
    increase from even fifty years ago

How do we know global warming is happening?
  • In the top graph at the right we can see the
    rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
    as measured in parts per million in the
    atmosphere, measurements having been taken on the
    island of Mauna Loa, Hawaii
  • In the bottom graph at the left can be seen the
    rising temperatures on the planet over the past

Global warming and Human Health
  • Global warming will affect human health in a
    number of different ways
  • The spread of infectious diseases will be
  • Agriculture will be affected
  • Extreme weather patterns will be affected
  • The amount of smog near the ground will be
  • The supply of freshwater available to humans will
    be affected

The infectious diseases
  • Infectious diseases can be carried by many
    different organisms, among them are ticks, flies
    and mosquitoes.
  • When the climate becomes warmer such organisms
    called vectors such as ticks, flies and
    mosquitoes can breed easier in the warmer wetter
  • As climate change begins to affect our planet to
    a greater extent the infectious disease carrying
    organisms will be able to reach higher altitudes
    and will have a longer season of breeding,
    increasing the likelihood of a human being in
    contact with the disease
  • Also, as the climate warms the amount of algae
    and fish that produce toxins poisonous to humans
    will increase

The infectious diseases
  • Malaria can affect 45 of the worlds population
    today but if global warming continues at the rate
    that it is progressing, that number could change
    to be 60 of the worlds population

The infectious diseases
  • Malaria is a parasitic disease borne by
    mosquitoes which on reaching the bloodstream
    causes blood cells to rupture, causing a fever,
    chills and anemia in the victim and potentially
    resulting in death within hours
  • Viral encephalitis is another disease carried by
    the mosquito and the tick and which results in an
    inflammation of the brain that can result in a
    brain hemorrhaging as well
  • Leishmaniasis is another parasitic disease
    carried by the sand fly which can infect the
    human body, namely the lymph nodes, the spleen
    and the bone marrow and which causes the body to
    become susceptible to disease as it attacks the
    immune system and can result in death due to
    complications that arise
  • Lyme disease-is carried by ticks and is a disease
    commonly found in North America, a disease which
    can result in complications involving the heart
    and even the nervous system

The infectious diseases
  • Cholera is a parasitic disease which can cause
    death from dehydration as it causes excessive
  • Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and
    causes fevers, joint and muscle pain, and
  • Schistomalaisisis a parasitic disease in which
    the parasite burrows into the body and then
    infects the organ literally of its choice.
  • Cryptosporidiosis is a disease that, like Cholera
    causes excessive dehydration especially in small
    children as a result of diarrhea.

Human Health and Extreme Weather Patterns
  • During global warming there is a potential for an
    increase in the number of heat related deaths as
    there is a potential for an increase in the
    number of extremely hot days
  • Extreme heat can bring about heat cramps due to a
    lack of water which can lead to heat stroke which
    can then lead to organ failure and even death
  • The elderly and the very young are particularly
    susceptible to extreme climates
  • A study done in Canada suggests that the number
    of people who would die heat related deaths would
    increase from 70 annually to 240-1140 people by
    2050, and that only in the city of Montreal

Human Health and Extreme Weather Patterns
  • A study done in relation to the city of New York
    shows that the number of people who die heat
    related deaths annually there would increase to
    around 1,700 people annually also by only 2050
  • Also, there a potential trend for more hurricanes
    when the temperature of the seas increase because
    hurricanes are fueled by warm ocean waters
  • Although the actual number of hurricanes may not
    increase as a result of global warming, it is
    their intensity that is thought to increase, or
    their potential energy
  • As a result of an potential increase in the
    intensity and thus possibly the amount of damage
    many hurricanes could be capable of doing,
    insurance agencies who are paying for increased
    amounts of damage due to hurricanes could even go
    bankrupt as a result

Human Health and Agriculture
  • A good part of the world and its countries rely
    on agriculture as their main source of income and
    of food
  • In a first scenario precipitation is expected to
    increase due to global warming, meaning that many
    crops will receive too much water and will be
    drowned as fields flood due to a projected rise
    of 40 centimeters in sea level
  • In a second scenario the amount of evaporation is
    expected to increase due to global warming,
    meaning that even more crops will die due to a
    lack of water
  • For many countries this change could mean death,
    in fact that projected number of starving people
    worldwide is expected to be 40-300 million people
    in addition to the 600 million already projected
    to be starving in 2060

Human Health and Water Supply
  • Due to global warming the amount of annual
    precipitation and the amount of ice converted to
    freshwater from the polar ice caps is projected
    to increase
  • A rise in sea level is projected for 2100 of as
    much as 40 centimeters
  • This rise in sea level could not only destroy
    human dwellings and human places of agricultural
    production but could also destroy many sea-side
    aquifers which would deplete the general water
    supply for humankind

Human Health and Air Conditions
  • Due to global warming, the amount of smog that is
    created by nitrous oxide, or ozone that is near
    the ground, will increase
  • An increase in the amount of smog near the ground
    level could potentially result in fatally warm
    summer days for those humans sensitive to such
  • As gases such as smog enter human lungs, they can
    increase the potential of lung infection which
    can lead to death

What else is affected by global warming?
  • Coral reefs- As the sea level rises the more and
    more coral reefs are being killed as they are
    subjected to cooler, darker waters
  • Greenland- The country of Greenland, a good
    percentage of which is made up of ice, is likely
    to melt significantly should global warming
    continue, causing sea levels to rise
    significantly and drowning many coastal
  • The polar ice caps- As global warming continues
    the polar ice caps are melting with speed and are
    diminishing all over the globe, causing many
    animals who inhabit the same areas as these polar
    ice caps to loose part of their habitats
  • Weather patterns- Weather patterns will greatly
    be affected by global warming as the weather must
    take into account a warmer climate
  • Wetlands- As sea levels rise due to global
    warming the number of wetlands diminishes as they
    are drowned by the rising waters

Predictions for the future
  • The Hadley Center for Research on Climate Control
    has made a number of predictions about the future
    of climate change and its results by the 21st
    century, such as the following
  • The surface temperature globally will have risen
    at an average of 3.2 at a minimum of .3
    worldwide The mean daily precipitation will have
    increased by .2 millimeters globally
  • The mean soil moisture will have decreased by a
    mean of 2 millimeters of moisture globally
  • The sea level will have decreased by a mean of
    .42 meters globally
  • The volume and area of artic sea ice will have
    dramatically decreased

How can we help to stop/what is being done to
stop global warming?
  • One way people can help to stop global warming is
    by using alternate forms of energy that are not
    using up fossil fuels, products that create
    greenhouse gases when they are used
  • Some of the forms of renewable energy that have
    been suggested as alternatives are wind energy
    and solar energy
  • Another way we can stop global warming is by
    attempting to take greenhouse gases out of the
    atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, the main
    greenhouse gas, through techniques such as carbon
  • There are four main ideas for carbon
    sequestration to store carbon dioxide in the
    ground, to store carbon dioxide in the ocean
    floor, to increase the abilities of certain
    plants and animals to take in carbon dioxide from
    the atmosphere, and to look at the genome
    sequences of certain plants and animals who
    produce methane, hydrogen, or help to store
    carbon dioxide
  • Already a number of different projects are being
    done such as by Eric A. Davidson and Neil Scott
    of the Woods Hole Research Center who are
    attempting to increase the carbon sequestration
    capacity of certain trees
  • The company Statoil, the State Oil company of
    Norway, is also already setting limits on how
    much carbon dioxide they can produce and are
    keeping their emissions at that level by
    injecting any extra carbon dioxide their company
    produces into the sea floor off the coast of

How much do you know? (A short quiz)
  • What causes global warming? Why does it cause
    global warming? (Slides 2-4)

How much do you know? (A short quiz)
  • What are two of the infectious diseases that have
    a potential for becoming more prominent as a
    result of global warming? (Slides 9-10)

How much do you know? (A short quiz)
  • What is one natural disaster that could become
    potentially more harmful to humans due to global
    warming? How would it be harmful physically?
    Financially? Economically? (Slide 12)

How much do you know? (A short quiz)
  • How is it that global warming could cause the sea
    level to become lower while it could also cause
    the sea level to rise in certain areas of the

How much do you know? (A short quiz)
  • What are some other ways that anyone at home
    could help to reduce carbon emissions?

The End
  • (But not of global warming)
  • (See http// for more

  • 1. Author not listed (done by the Hadley Center)
    Climate Change Predictions. The Hadley Centre
    Website on Met Office. January 2, 2006.
    odels/modeldata.htmlgt Organization The Hadley
    Centre on Climate Research. Last update not
  • 2. Author not listed. Global Warming.
    OzEstuaries. Downloaded January 2, 2005.
    _warming.htmlgt Organization National Land and
    Water Resources Audit and the Coastal Cooperate
    Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and
    Waterway Management. Last update not listed.
  • 3. Author not listed. (Based on the Summary for
    Policymakers of the Third Assessment Report
    written by Working Group I of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.)
    Scientific Facts on Climate Change and Global
    Warming. Downloaded on January 2,
    2006. lthttp//
    change/sources.htmgt Organization Green Facts.
    Last updated July 3, 2005.
  • 4. Author not listed. Medical Encyclopedia for
    Malaria, Toxins, Dengue Fever, Encephalitis,
    Leishmaniasis, Schistomalaisis, Heat Stroke and
    Cryptosporidiosis. Medline Plus. Downloaded
    January 2, 2006. http//
    Organization U.S. National Library of Medicine
    and The National Institutes of Health. Last
    updated December, 2005.
  • 5. Author not listed. The Effects of Global
    Warming. The Effects of Global Warming.
    Downloaded June 4. 2006.
    Square/1848/global.htmlgt. Organization and
    update not listed.

  • 6. Author Unlisted. Carbon Sequestration.
    Enhancing the Natural Terrestrial Cycle. Current
    Projects. Carbon Sequestration in the Oceans.
    Sequencing Genomes of Micro-organisms for Carbon
    Management. Office of Science. April 4, 2006.
    Organization U.S. Department of Energy. Last
    Updated April 2004.
  • 7. Epstein, Paul R., Andrew Haines, and Anthony
    J. McMichael. Environment and Health 2.
    Global climate change and health. Canadian
    Medical Association Journal. Originally Published
    September 19, 2000 pages 729-734. Downloaded on
    January 2, 2006. lthttp//
    full/163/6/729gt Organization Canadian Medical
    Association Journal.
  • 8. Gardiner, Lisa. Effects of Climate Change
    Today. Windows to the Universe. Downloaded on
    January 2, 2006. lthttp//
    Organization University Cooperation for
    Atmospheric Research. Last updated June 23, 2004.
  • 9. Haines Andrew, and McMichael, Anthony J.
    Global Climate Change The Potential Effects on
    Health. Printed in British Medical Journal on
    September 27, 1997 pages 805-809. Reproduced on
    British Medical Journal Website. Downloaded on
    January 2, 2006. lthttp//
    content/full/315/7111/805gt Organization British
    Medical Journal.
  • 10. Hopwood, Nick and Jordan Cohen. Greenhouse
    Gases and Society. University of Michigan
    Website. Downloaded on January 2, 2006.
    mgt Organization University of Michigan. Last
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  • 11. Perkins, Sid. Dead Heat. Science News.
    Published July 2004. Reproduced in ProQuest.
    July 3, 2004. lthttp//proquest.umi.comgt
  • 12. Walter, Katie. A Solution for Carbon Dioxide
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    Organization The Intergovernmental Panel on
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  • 14. Image not from sites above on Slide 3 drawn
    by Carolyn Vasko, taken from lthttp//www.classroo gt