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In the news: fires and flooding

Clinical Scenarios: Cases to consider
  • Forest fires are becoming more widespread, burning nearly twice as much tree cover today as they did 20 years ago.
  • 2021 was one of the worst years for forest fires since the turn of the century, causing an alarming 9.3 million hectares of tree cover loss globally
  • In 2023, the world has already seen heightened fire activity, including record-breaking burns across Canada, Europe and catastrophic fires in Hawaii.
  • Climate change is one of the major drivers of increasing fire activity. Hotter temperatures dry out the landscape and help create the perfect environment for larger, more frequent forest fires.
  • This in turn leads to higher emissions from forest fires, further exacerbating climate change and contributing to more fires as part of a “fire-climate feedback loop.”

…but this is not the only thing,

  • Due to climate change the frequency of heavy rainfall will very likely increase over most areas during the 21st century, resulting in more rain-generated floods.
  • Water-related disasters have dominated the list of disasters over the past 50 years and account for 70 per cent of all deaths related to natural disasters
  • Since 2000, flood-related disasters have risen by 134 per cent compared with the two previous decades. Most of the flood-related deaths and economic losses were recorded in Asia (WMO).

Sometimes it feels like these anthropomorphic disasters are distant from our everyday lives, especially if they have not affected us directly.

To bring things down to something that is real and tangible to many of us, but that on the face of it seems might seem trivial…

and,

  • In 2018 Nature published an article with the following headline! “Climate change is about to make your beer more expensive”. Research was carried out by scientists from the US, China, Mexico and the UK. It suggested that extreme weather events are expected to reduce global barley production significantly!

Is this the tip of the iceberg?

What do you think?

Do we need to protect our food security and our bread basket that is planet Earth?

Are the implications for global, national and local health much more significant than these headlines might first suggest?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below

References:

  • World Resources Institute
  • World health Organisation
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