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Climate Change and Rising Cancer Rates

Powerful Essays
How does climate change increase people’s probabilities of developing cancer? Global warming, a rise in the average global temperature, is a form of climate change that has caused glaciers to melt, acid rain to form, and sea levels to rise killing both vegetation and animals. What you probably don’t know is that climate change is killing humans too. “Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths in 2008” , which is equivalent to the population of Bulgaria. Global warming will also increase exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy rainfall will wash the toxins into the water. The chance of developing cancer is increased due to the enhanced exposure to ultraviolet rays as a result of the deterioration of the ozone layer.

What is climate change and how does it happen? Climate change occurs when long-term climate patterns are altered through human activity (such as, industrial pollution and automobile exhaust). “Life on Earth is possible because of the warmth of the sun.” The majority of solar radiation bounces back into space; however, a small percentage becomes trapped by the gases that create Earth’s atmosphere, also as known as the ozone layer. The ozone layer is the protective layer that surrounds Earth and blocks the majority of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (radiation which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum) due to the molecular size of the ozone molecule. It blocks rays such as UV-C (100-280 nanometers) and UV-B (280-315 nm); however, it does not block UV-A (315-400 nm). According to the Center for Global Environmental Research at the National Institute for Environmental Studies Japan, UV-A is the main cause of cancer (melanoma), while UV-B is the cause for sunburns. The ozone layer ...

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