Global climate change will influence human health and well-being.  Heat related deaths will mount as heat waves become more severe. Rising sea levels will threaten coastal...
Climate Change and Unprepared CitiesLast Updated on 2011-04-09 00:00:00Climate Change Poses Major
Risks for Unprepared Cities
Fast-growing urban areas most likely to feel the heat
Cities worldwide are failing to take necessary steps to protect residents from the likely impacts of climate change, even though billions of urban dwellers are vulnerable to heat waves, sea level rise and other changes associated with warming temperatures.
A new examination of urban policies by Patricia Romero Lankao at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., in conjunction with an international research project on cities and climate change, warns that many of the world's fast-growing urban areas, especially in developing countries, will likely suffer disproportionately from the impacts of changing climate.
Her work also concludes that most cities are failing to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that... More »
Assessing Global Warming's Human CostLast Updated on 2010-12-14 00:00:00
Global climate change will influence human health and well-being.  Heat related deaths will mount as heat waves become more severe. Rising sea levels will threaten coastal cities and their fresh water supplies. Greater severity of storms and forest fires will put more people at risk. Certain insect vectors that carry human diseases will extend their ranges to higher latitudes and altitudes. Warmer temperatures and altered precipitation patterns will shift food production. Policies to abate greenhouse gases will likely force people to spend more time at routine tasks such as commuting to work, heating water, and discarding wastes.
Economic assessments of human welfare depend on complex value judgments. What is the value of a human life? How important is quality of life and how much money is involved?
Value of Statistical Life
A standard measure for the monetary value of... More »
Climate Change PerceptionsLast Updated on 2010-11-20 00:00:00
The Perception Factor: Climate Change Gets Personal
This article, written by Catherine M. Cooney, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth.
Summer 2010 saw a new suite of climate change studies from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with the stark conclusion that “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.”1 The NAS series received a boost... More »
Lecture: Stephen Schneider Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Video Last Updated on 2010-10-07 00:00:00
This video is of a lecture that Stephen Schneider presented a number of times. It covers climate change from a risk perspective, discussing the underlying science, uncertainties, and implications of different possible decisions. Here is it captured with many (although not all) of his graphics. It is a well organized, evenly presented lecture that carefully differentiates questions of "what we know" from "what we should do." It presents data and modelling at a level appropriate for undergraduates.
Human population explosionLast Updated on 2010-07-26 21:54:46
Approximately 6.6 billion humans now inhabit the Earth. By comparison, there are about 20 million mallard ducks and, among a multitude of threatened and endangered species, perhaps 100,000 gorillas, 50,000 polar bears, and less than 10,000 tigers, 2000 giant pandas and 200 California condors. Notably, the human population has grown nearly ten-fold over the past three centuries and has increased by a factor of four in the last century. This monumental historical development has profoundly changed the relationship of our species to its natural support systems and has greatly intensified our environmental impact, particularly regarding species extinctions. Equally amazing are the signs that, in our generation, the human population explosion has begun to abate (Figure 1; note that, here and below, many of the values given are estimates and, after the... More »
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