The few studies that have examined the relation between warming and human health or mortality in depth have focused either on increases in the number of days of very hot weather and the resulting mortality or on the spread of infectious diseases by such vectors as mosquitoes, flies, and snails.
According to the scientists, who have mapped the growing health impacts of global warming, the data show that global warming affects different regions in very different ways. Global warming is particularly hard on people in poor countries, which is ironic, because the places that have contributed the least to global warming are most vulnerable to the death and disease higher temperatures can bring.
Scientists believe that greenhouse gases will increase the global average temperature by approximately 6 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Extreme floods, droughts and heat waves, such as Europe's 2003 heat wave, are likely to strike with increasing frequency. Other factors such as irrigation and deforestation can also affect local temperatures and humidity.
Doctors and scientists around the world are becoming increasingly alarmed over global warming’s impact on human health. Abnormal and extreme weather, which scientists have long predicted would be an early effect of global warming, have claimed hundreds of lives across the US in recent years. Our warming climate is also creating the ideal conditions for the spread of infectious disease, putting millions of people at risk.
Rises in temperature produced by global warming could result in an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital with kidney disease, heart disease and mental illness in Australian cities. Global warming might also bring a significant increase in previously uncommon diseases such as Dengue and Ross River fever to Australia's rural communities, where temperature increases were expected to be more dramatic.
Midwest and Northeast. Major cities such as New York and Chicago could see temperatures that would mean more heat stress and heatstroke. The poor and the elderly would be hit especially hard.
The heat wave in Western Europe in 2003 killed in excess of 30,000 people who wouldn't have died otherwise.
Southwest. Higher temperatures and decreased rain are likely to strain already limited water sources, increasing the likelihood of wildfires and air pollution.
Great Plains. Increased temperatures could mean scorching summers and more mild winters which would significantly hurt food production.