Without a doubt, these heat waves and air pollution are killing us.
The World Health Organization estimates that our crazy climate change weather trends over the past 30 years kill more than 150,000 people each year.
A climate change-related heat wave in 2003 killed nearly 70,000 people in Europe alone. That’s bad news, as historically hot summers are becoming an annual norm for most of us.
The mercury seesaw also may be pushing us over the mental edge, as hotter days wreak havoc on our identities and livelihoods.
Ocean oscillations like El Niño can lead to cooler years and mask global warming, but don’t be fooled: The warming trend and increasing extreme weather persists.
When people dump greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor in the atmosphere, they trap heat and the planet feels the burn. More ocean water evaporates, and monster storms pour down. At the same time, evaporation, early snow melt, and more lead to drought. Crops drown or burn. Even lizards bake toward extinction.
Get a popsicle. Maybe take a walk. But try to stay cool.
Check our facts!
Climate change and human health: Impacts, vulnerability and public health. Haines, A. et al. Public Health , Volume 120 , Issue 7 , 585 – 596
Attributing human mortality during extreme heat waves to anthropogenic climate change. Daniel Mitchell1, Clare Heaviside2, Sotiris Vardoulakis2, Chris Huntingford3, Giacomo Masato4, Benoit P Guillod1, Peter Frumhoff5, Andy Bowery6, David Wallom6 and Myles Allen.1 Published 8 July 2016 • © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. , ,
Historically hottest summers projected to be the norm for more than half of the world’s population within 20 years. Brigitte Mueller1, Xuebin Zhang1 and Francis W Zwiers.2 Published 7 April 2016 • © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. , ,
Analysis of heat stress in UK dairy cattle and impact on milk yields. Robert J H Dunn et al 2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 064006
Cunsolo Willox, A., Harper, S.L., Ford, J.D. et al. Climatic Change (2013) 121: 255. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0875-4
Westphal MF, Stewart JAE, Tennant EN, Butterfield HS, Sinervo B (2016) Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0154838.
Written by Roar.
Art by Jaime Van Wart who is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Los Angeles. Previously a User Experience Designer at IBM, Jaime recently graduated from CalArts with an MFA in Graphic Design and is currently working as an Art Director at Blind. See her work here and follow her on Twitter @meatballshorti.