The Effects Of Climate Change On Health, Agriculture And The Environment

The Effects Of Climate Change On Health, Agriculture And The Environment

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Water is a precious natural resource which is essential for the survival of all living things; however, fresh water is becoming finite at an increasingly fast rate. Water is vital for the economic and social growth of a country; to generate energy, maintain health and grow food. However, a rising population, combined with the effects of climate change puts a strain on water availability. The United Nations Development (2006) states that around 700 million people suffer from water scarcity in 43 different countries and these numbers are predicted to rise to 1.8 billion people by the year 2025. Water shortage is a concerning issue and it could be argued that the effects could prove detrimental as the threat continues to rise. As well as the causes of water shortage; climate change and fracking, the effects of these causes on health, agriculture and the environment also need to be addressed.
Climate change poses a large environmental threat and contributes to water shortage globally. Climate change refers to an increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature. This increase in temperature has been linked to the combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity which releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Evidence from the IPCC shows that carbon dioxide levels rising over the last 150 years from 280 to 400 parts per million is directly proportional to climate increase over the past 50 years (Oreskes et al 2004, page 1686). Consequently, climate change has a great effect on the environment. Firstly, it results in seasonal changes, changes in rainfall patterns and an increase in sea level due to the melting of polar ice caps. Although increased rainfall provides fresh water re...

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...ese processes are harmful to society and the environment as a result of climate change. Water scarcity puts many people at risk of developing life threatening diseases and being in life threatening situations with the increased impact of natural disasters. Possible solutions are currently being researched to reduce water shortage, one of which is sea water desalination which filters polluted water, increasing fresh water resources. However, this is a very expensive process meaning developing countries which face the largest amount of water scarcity cannot afford this and do not have access to this solution. Instead, Pervaporation; a cheap, energy efficient method of water purification using a ceramic or polymeric membrane may prove to be the resolution for all. Water scarcity is a growing problem that needs to be tackled immediately, as it affects the lives of many.

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