Severe Health Consequences from Climate Change

by Caroline Chmiel

Haynes et al (2014) discuss the impending health risks to humanity if climate change persists at a rapid rate. They argue that if fossil fuel burning remains unconstrained, global average warming in the long term may be 12° C and by 2100 this heat could cause a 40% reduction in global labor capacity. During especially hot months, the temperatures would create hostile environments for laborers in many areas of the country. As population increases, this decrease in productivity would be especially detrimental to maintaining economic levels. Additionally, temperatures of extreme heat may cross the “afterlife” threshold. This occurs when the effect the temperature would have on humanity is so large that there is a “discontinuity in the long-term progression of humanity”. New and extreme health risks are crucial aspects of crossing the “afterlife” threshold. Continue reading