Climate Change

Human-induced climate change will impact societies and their health in many ways. The chain that creates the effect is composed of three distinctive steps:-

ANNUAL REPORTS IN MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY—38 ISSN: 0065-7743

© 2003 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved.

ANNUAL REPORTS IN MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY—38 ISSN: 0065-7743

© 2003 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved.

There are many uncertainties attached to each of the three categories. Each uncertainty will make the prediction of future events more difficult.

To give an idea of the potential uncertainties that may exist with each of the levels of the "climate chain", the following is a summary of potential variations that could occur.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions (which create climate change) - may be much higher than expected due to increased demand from Third World countries.
  • Climate change impacts maybe more severe and more geographically spread than first envisaged.
  • Human health may deteriorate, in general, due to the changing climate change conditions of the next century (poorer diets due to lack of foods and lack of access to appropriate drugs and clean water)
  • Certain genetic pools maybe become more susceptible to different diseases in an unforeseen way as climate changes increase.
  • Disease vectors may react differently and more radically than expected (in a warmer and wetter world).

It is clear that future climate may not mirror the past climate and as such will require special adaptive responses.

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