BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
BBC Weather
BBC Weather

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

human health

Human Health

The climate we live in affects many areas of our lives. The quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and our homes are all dependent on our climate and weather.

Climate researchers predict that the UK climate will become warmer, with high temperatures in the summer becoming more frequent and very cold winters more rare. Winters will become wetter with heavier rain more common.

sneezingSome scientists have suggested that a warmer world will be a sicker world. However there is not complete agreement that this will be the case.

With winters becoming milder, there are likely to be fewer cold-related deaths. However, there is a danger that bacteria would no longer die-off seasonally during the prolonged cold spell meaning that diseases may spread more widely.

More heat waves will increase the number of hot-weather related deaths while the number of cases of skin cancer has quadrupled in the last 30 years. High level of ground-level ozone will increase the prevalence of cardio-respiratory disease.

Higher average global temperatures mean that diseases, or their carriers, may be able to move to areas that were previously too cold for them to survive. It is possible that a mild strain of malaria will become established in localised parts of the UK for up to four months of the year.

world healthGlobally, there are likely to be more floods, more droughts and more storms, which will be accompanied by damage to our homes, food and water supplies and impact on our general health. An increase in flooding will promote the spread of water-borne diseases plus the growth of fungi, while droughts encourage white flies, locusts and rodents, all affecting food and water supplies and health.

Climate change is likely to have an unequal impact on the world population. Those living in poor and developing countries are going to be less able to adapt to changes. The effects on general UK health are likely to be less severe than in other parts of the world. Health impacts are not likely to be confined to the human population - wildlife will also be severly affected.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy