There are many direct and indirect social and cultural impacts of climate change. Read more about of few of them below.Food systemsWaterHuman health
Impacts such as rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather events put severe pressure on food availability, stability, access and use.
Availability of agricultural products is affected by climate change directly through impacts on crop yields, crop pests, diseases, soil fertility and soil water-holding properties.
There is a well-accepted prediction that climate change will – and already has – caused severe regional water shortages.
As water stress increases, we will likely experience much more unstable global food production along with decreased biodiversity, and damaged ecosystems. Record droughts in recent years in places like China, Australia, Brazil, and Kenya as well as floods in Pakistan, Australia, and Columbia, have already made drastic imprints on food production and in turn, global food prices. This, consequently, is expected to create both internal and external social conflicts around the globe due to a limited supply, and increased competition over water resources.
Photo credit: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Read a story about Israeli farmers who are affected by the climate related water shortages….
One of the most serious impacts of climate change is how it is affecting water resources around the world. Water is intimately tied to other resource and social issues such as food supply, health, industry, transportation and ecosystem integrity.
Glacial melting is one of the most striking and visual signs of the impacts of climate change. Glaciers store snow like bank accounts store money; they hold snow in the winter and release water when it's most needed, during hot, dry summers and periods of drought. However, global warming is cashing in on a bank account that has been built over thousands of years but isn't being replenished.
By 2050, more than a billion people in the Asian region (Central, South, East and South-East Asia) are expected to be affected from freshwater shortages due to climate change. Additionally, a great number of people between 75 million and 250 million in the African region are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change.
Strange rainfall patterns and rising sea levels are of concern to the 60% of the population that lives within 50 kilometres of the Mozambique coast. Find out more on our climate calendar page…
The health of human beings is affected by climate change, either directly through changing weather patterns, or indirectly through changes in water, air, food, ecosystems, livelihoods and infrastructure. Generally, these direct and indirect exposures can cause death, disability and suffering. Ill-health increases vulnerability and reduces the capacity of individuals and groups to adapt to climate change.
The World Health Organization reports that the rising temperatures and variable precipitation due to climate change that has occurred since the 1970s claimed over 140000 deaths. Globally, weather-related natural disasters result in over 60 000 deaths every year, mainly in developing countries.
Read a story about a Kenyan farmer who says temperature rise and unpredictable rainfall have encouraged the proliferation of malaria-spreading mosquitoes…