Climate change has been a popular topic of discussion and debate for years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. If nothing is done to stop or slow down the impacts of climate change, it could lead to things like increased natural disasters, water scarcity, and the expansion of tropical diseases.
Most people are aware of these major issues stemming from global warming and a changing climate. However, these problems are only the beginning.
Unless we keep the climate from reaching its tipping point, other problems will continue to grow
and become more apparent. The average person might not be aware of these issues now, but
the worse things get with the climate, the more prominent the problems will become.
With that, let’s take a closer look at five impacts of climate change you might not be aware of.
1. Our gut health will suffer
People are more concerned with their gut health than ever — and for good reason. Things like probiotics, fermentation, and a better understanding of how the gut impacts other areas of the body have all become increasingly popular.
Your gut keeps your body working properly. It supports functions like energy production, hormone balance, skin health, and waste elimination.
There’s even a direct correlation between your mental health and your GI tract since the gut is often viewed as a sort of “second brain.”
What does that have to do with global warming?
Studies have shown that environmental stressors, including climate change, could impact the influence of different food webs across the globe. One study found that the warming effects on ecological networks, down to environmental bacteria and mosquitos, compromised the natural gut flora of tadpoles. That might not seem like a big deal now, but it’s a clear picture of what could eventually happen to humans and our gut health if our ecosystems change.
2. We may see more shark attacks
While shark attacks are prevalent in movies, there are only about 16 per year in the U.S. However, that number could increase due to climate change, turning reality into a real-life horror film.
The current climate crisis is causing great white sharks to migrate. The ocean is heating up, and that’s causing sharks and other aquatic animals to head closer to the shores to find more suitable water temperatures. Where there are creatures like otters and fish, there will soon be sharks. This has raised concern over shark encounters.
While we have yet to see an upward trend in attacks, these attacks will likely occur more frequently as sharks become used to getting closer to their prey.
3. Primitive diseases will be resurrected
Over the years, we’ve done a decent job of eradicating certain diseases. However, there are many “ancient diseases” we’ve never even had to worry about in our lifetime.
Unfortunately, climate change could end up bringing some of those primitive diseases back to the forefront.
This starts with the melting problems in the Arctic. The thawing permafrost in the Arctic is already causing millions of microorganisms that have been frozen under the ice to rise to the surface. These microbes could contain dormant diseases, including smallpox.
As the microbes are released, they will search for warmer environments where they can grow and thrive — and eventually attempt to find a host.
As we know from the COVID-19 virus, it only takes one person to start a global pandemic.
4. Construction could grind to a halt
Most people understand that a construction site isn’t going to operate under extreme weather conditions. You’re unlikely to see workers on the road or in the middle of a job during thunderstorms or blizzards. However, if the effects continue on this path, construction could be severely impacted by climate change.
Across the globe, we’re seeing things like dangerous heat waves, natural disasters, severe flooding, and droughts. Not only are these extreme weather conditions causing damage to existing construction projects, but they’re making it nearly impossible for workers to finish their jobs.
Unfortunately, strange weather patterns will only get worse unless we’re able to reel in the impact of global warming. As you can expect, a halt in the construction industry could be disastrous for our economy.
5. Murder rates will skyrocket
What does climate change have to do with crime? More than you might think.
Warmer temps increase violent crimes across the country — especially during the winter months. This strange, warmer weather that isn’t as violent or extreme allows for more close interactions between people.
As climate change impacts everything else, it’s likely for tempers to flare and for individuals to be more on edge. People will do what they need to survive, including robbery and even murder.
It's Time to Take Climate Change Seriously
Climate change is about more than heat waves and ice melt. While those things are important, we need to have a better understanding of the greater, unexpected impact of global warming. Keep these ideas in mind as you move forward and do your part to help the planet.