It is now official: Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are a danger to the public health and welfare, according to an exhaustive investigation that looked at 275 scientific studies published over the past nine years.
Researchers have found the report to examine whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2009 Threat, which found that greenhouse gases pose a risk to the health of the man, still held. The new study showed that there are now even more proof that greenhouse gases are harmful to your health and well-being. The research also found an additional four areas are not included in the original report, that greenhouse gas emissions threaten people.
“There is absolutely no scientific basis for questioning the Threat,” review lead researcher Philip Duffy, president and executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, told Science. “The case for compromise is stronger than ever.” [6 Unexpected Effects of Climate change]
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The original Threat was for a long time in the making. It began when Massachusetts and other states sued the EPA during President George W. Bush administration, asking the agency to regulate greenhouse gases. In 2007, the Supreme court ruled that not only does the EPA have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, but it also may not refuse to do that if these substances are found in danger of people.
“The Supreme court said:” if you determine that greenhouse gases are dangerous, then you have to regulate,'” Duffy said. “But, of course, the Supreme Court was not itself going to say whether greenhouse gases can be hazardous. That is a scientific process, not a legal one. So, the EPA has undertaken the scientific assessment of the dangerousness or non dangerousness of the emissions of greenhouse gases.”
In December 2009, the EPA released a report, which found that greenhouse gases do endanger human health and welfare by causing climate change. The government of President Barack Obama’s use this finding to the implementation of new regulations such as the Clean energy Plan and stronger vehicle mileage standards for cars and light trucks, Duffy said.
But now, people in and out of the President, Donald Trump of the administration have discussed overturning or revising of the threat found, Duffy said. In response to these statements, Duffy and his colleagues decided to look at scientific studies published since the threat found came from, to see if the science strengthens or weakens the case for threat.
What the science shows
The new review grouped the findings into several categories: public health, air quality, agriculture, forests, water resources, sea level rise, infrastructure and wildlife. The four new categories include ocean acidification, national security, the economic well-being and violence. Here are more in-depth look at some of them.
Overview of public health
People in more than 200 cities in the U.S. have an increased risk of premature death as a result of future global warming, the researchers found. Extreme heat is associated with the sleep loss, kidney stones, low birth weight, violence, and suicide. Exposure to ozone and other air pollutants, including smoke from forest fires, can be bad for the health of the man. Extreme weather events enhanced by climate change can lead to physical trauma, disease outbreaks, disruption of the health and psychological problems. The rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are also increasing the length of the pollen season, which affects people with allergies. Certain crops are expected to be less nutrients. Population displacement and armed conflict can also strengthen the risks for human health. [The photos Show Gruesome Scenes from the California Wildfires]
With less snowpack in the mountains in the West and Southwest may be more resistant to drought. Reduced snowpack may result in reduced river flow, which can be a threat for rare and endangered species, such as salmon and wolverines. Climate change is also expected to affect the quality of the water in the United States as a result of nutrient loading (such as from fertilizer or animal waste), especially in the Midwest and the Northeast.
Rise of the sea level
High sea levels will increase the risk for the coastal areas, the economy and the infrastructure, largely as a result of flooding, erosion and extreme events. These effects may lead to displacement of a “climate of gentrification’, in which people at higher elevations have higher-priced properties. The movement of goods between the major ports, will likely be affected, too, causing economic distortions. Sea level rise could also disrupt the U.S. army, as well as disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
The United States existing security will likely need to change as the planet heats up. For example, in the Arctic, less sea ice will pave the way for more Chinese trade routes, and the Russian oil and gas extraction, possibly causing tensions between these countries and the US, the researchers wrote.
An increase of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) more than 75 years, it is expected to permanently reduce U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by about 3 percent. The U.S. GDP is expected to be approximately 4 percent greater than the warming of the earth is limited to 2.7 degrees F (1.5 degrees C) than the 3.6 degrees F (2 ° C above pre-industrial levels. Economies in poorer countries are expected to have an economic burden of climate change, which is about five times greater than that of the richer provinces, the researchers found.
Violence and instability
Rising temperatures and increased rainfall may enhance violence and instability. In the U.S., higher temperatures are associated with higher rates of domestic violence, rape, assault, and murder. Warmer periods may also increase the risk of self-harm, such as suicide, emerging evidence suggests.
These findings “highlight the contrast between the science and the policy,” Duffy said. “The scientific evidence goes in one direction, and the policy is going in exactly the opposite direction.”
But this report shouldn’t come as a surprise for everyone, said Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York, who was not involved in the assessment.
“If you’ve been paying attention, the Threat Found in 2009 was very motivated, and it is only getting stronger since that time,” Smerdon told Live Science. “It is actually a tsunami of evidence to support the fact. People have very clearly linked with the changing climate, which we cause, to the downstream effects.”
The review also drives home the fact that climate change will affect everyone, not just the people in distant countries.
“Reports such as these all point out that each of us will be affected by climate change in different ways, and it is in all our backyards,” Smerdon said. “It’s not something that’s going too far.”
The review was published yesterday (Dec. 13) in the journal Science.
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Originally published on Live Science.