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Two views on human impact of climate change

Researchers at McGill University have mapped out the longer-term impact of climate change on human health and well-being.

If populations continue to increase at the expected rates, the McGill researchers report, those who are likely to be the most vulnerable to climate change are the people living in low-latitude, hot regions of the world, places like central South America, the Arabian Peninsula and much of Africa.

In these areas, a relatively small increase in temperature will have serious consequences on a region’s ability to sustain a growing population. Here’s a direct link to the map (below is screen grab):

Human vulnerability to climate change

On a related note, here’s a recent post from my NPR colleague Heather Goldstone at Climatide providing “Two reasons why climate change could be bad for your health.”

One of the reasons is that it could increase bacterial outbreaks, as Heather notes appears to be happening with cholera worldwide. As I’ve noted before, there are some (though a minority) of scientists who believe Haiti’s cholera outbreak was fueled by climate change. The medical community is not trained to think of environmental contributors to human disease, but climate change may require a more interdisciplinary approach.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.