Climate change can directly harm human health in many ways. One possible way is that climate change can increase the spread of infectious diseases. Another way is that it can decrease the amount of fresh water in some communities, creating health problems from a lack of safe drinking water. Some countries are already experiencing this, and they are having to use desalination machines to meet their fresh water demands. Rising sea levels are also contaminating fresh water supplies underground.
On top of the risk of spreading infectious diseases and depleting the fresh water supply, climate change may also increase the risk of non-infectious health concerns, such as heat stroke due to an increase in the global temperature, asthma, and malnutrition from crop failure due to abnormal weather conditions (drought, flooding, fires, etc.). The changes in climate will also affect the regions in which certain organisms are able to survive, meaning that unfamiliar plants, animals, fungi and bacteria will enter communites that are not accustomed to them, and therefore not equipped to deal with them (as evinced by the spread of tick-borne disease in Europe). Such negative impacts on health are likely to have a more profound effect on poorer populations, which already suffer from famine and generally lack the resources to combat diseases and natural disasters.
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