Analysis of Heat Exposure on Health and Socioeconomic Impact

by Jasmine Kaur

One big factor of climate change that is reducing human performance and work capacity is heat exposure. Currently, in hot areas, 10% of daylight hours are too hot for work to be performed and by 2085, the loss of productivity working hours will have increased to 30-40%. The hot areas are Africa, Asia, Latin America, and at moderate risk are southeast and southwest United States. In these hot atmospheres the heat transfer of the intrabody to the external environment and away from the body is limited. The influence of heat exposure is causing the core body temperature to rise that leads to serious physiological risks. Mainly affected are the cardiovascular system with limitations of blood flow, increased heart rate, and conspicuous sweating. As climate change progresses the incidences of occupational health problems will rise, and labor productivity and work capacity will fall. Continue reading

Economic Effects of Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise on US Coasts

by Grace Stewart

Neumann et al. (2015) provide evidence that to properly analyze the risk climate change poses to coastal property, it is necessary to account for the effects of both sea level rise and storm surges. They conducted a study accounting for both of these phenomena in determining the economic damages to coastal regions through the year 2100 by combining three models—a tropical cyclone simulation model, storm surge model, and economic impact and adaptation model. This study seemed particularly relevant due to the recent Hurricane Sandy, which depicted the devastating effects of storm surges to infrastructure and safety of coastal residents. Continue reading

Health Impacts of Flooding

by Kaylee Anderson

An effect of climate change is an increase in the occurrence of floods. Particularly, in Canada flooding is five times more frequent than the occurrence of the next most common natural disaster. In addition to the obvious risk of drowning, toxin and pathogen exposure, and stress increase during flooding. A past study by Nakamura, et al. (2012) revealed an association between acute cardiovascular disease and natural disasters, such as the Japanese tsunami in 2011. Vanasse et al. (2016) examines the effect of flooding on acute cardiovascular disease in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Continue reading

Influence of Extreme Weather Disasters on Global Cereal Production

by Coco Coyle

Increases in numbers and intensity of extreme weather disasters are linked to climate change and rising global temperatures. Agriculture is both a cause and a victim of climate change, and is susceptible to natural disasters and extreme weather disasters (EWDs). Lesk et al (2015) estimate global cereal production losses resulting from four major types of EWDs—extreme heat, droughts, extreme cold, and floods—in the period 1964–2007, analyze the underlying processes resulting in those losses, and identify several areas with potential for further study. They found that extreme heat disasters and droughts on average reduced national cereal production by 9–10%, while there was no significant drop in production from extreme cold and floods. Continue reading