Farmers and land workers in places like Bangladesh, Nepal and Tajikistan describe how extreme heat, and heat at unusual times, is becoming increasingly debilitating.
In Uganda and Ethiopia, they describe how they experience rainfall coming in more concentrated bursts, with longer, hotter dry periods in between. Crops shrivel, then get knocked over or washed away.
Reductions in rainfall and stream flow plus greater heat and evaporation are combining with increasing demand for water, bringing about water stress, more droughts and increasing arguments over water supplies.
Impact of Climate Change on Human Health
|Severe Weather||Injuries, fatalities, mental health impacts|
|Air Pollution||Asthma, cardiovascular disease|
|Changes in Vector Ecology||Malaria, dengue, encephalitis, hantavirus, rift valley fever, lyme disease, chikungunya, west nile virus|
|Increasing Allergens||Respiratory allergies, asthma|
|Water Quality Impacts||Cholera, cryptosporidiosis, campylobacter, leptospirosis, harmful algal blooms|
|Water and Food Supply Impacts||Malnutrition, diarrheal disease|
|Environmental Degradation||Forced migration, civil conflict, mental health impacts|
|Extreme Heat||Heat-related illness and death, cardiovascular failure|
Farmers and land workers everywhere say that these changes are effectively shortening the growing season. Increasingly, they must find new crop varieties that can withstand tougher conditions and grow faster.
Sea level rise also threatens some of the most fertile and densely populated parts of the planet, the great river deltas. Coastal communities in places like Pakistan and Vietnam tell how storm surges are reaching further inland, and how salt is infiltrating into fields and groundwater. These problems are likely to get worse.
Global Average Sea Level Change
(Relative to 1880)
Climate models project increases of 5-10% in precipitation per ºC rise in high latitudes. A warmer atmosphere holds and moves around more water vapor, increasing the likelihood of more extreme precipitation. On the other hand, big reductions in rainfall are likely to occur in other regions, including the Mediterranean and southern Europe, southern Africa, the southern USA, Central America and parts of Australia.
Global climate change – rising temperatures and changes to precipitation – is expected to reduce yields of key food crops in some tropical regions by about 7-15% over the next 20 years, with maize particularly at risk – including in the USA, the world’s largest corn producer.
Adaptation and Risk Reduction
Islamic Aid is increasingly seeing the effects of climate change on the communities with which we work. In response, we are increasing our work on climate change adaptation; helping to implement changes in human behavior that reduce the harm of, or take opportunities from, climate change.