• Climate in the Gulf
• The Report
• For Teachers
• Slow the Change
• Speed our Response
• Water Resources
• Sea-Level Change
• Human Perspectives
Health concerns related to climate change result from a complex set of interactions among human and environmental factors. Extreme heat, air and water quality, seafood safety, and storm-related risks are of great concern for all residents, but particularly for the elderly population. Specific health concerns related to climate change include:
- More heat-related illnesses and deaths. The greatest increase in the July heat index is projected for the southern United States. Cities in Mississippi—such as Jackson and other urban areas—are particularly vulnerable to more heat waves. As a result, Mississippi is likely to see an increase in the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths, especially among the elderly, the very young, people whose health is already compromised, and the very poor, who are unable to protect themselves from the heat.
- Decreased air quality. Higher temperatures also lead to increased production of ground-level ozone and smog, exacerbating asthma and other respiratory diseases.
- Water-borne illnesses. The risk of water-borne illnesses can increase with warmer temperatures, extreme rainfall and increased runoff. Vulnerability to climate change and water-related health risks is particularly severe in areas where water supply and quality, waste disposal systems, and power supplies for heating and cooling are already substandard.
- Greater demands on health resources. The incidence of gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory diseases, and skin, ear, and eye infections, is determined only in combination with human factors, such as the effectiveness of water and sewage treatment and the responsiveness of the public health system. Thus, climate-related health risks will place greater demands on public health resources.
Magnolia - Copyright M. Harris, Floridata.com.
Women sitting on porch - USDA, K. Hammond.
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