Climate affects the lives of humans and animals by maintaining and changing the environment in which they live. This includes the impact on human and animal health as well as crops grown to sustain living organisms. These effects may be positive or negative.
While climate is often discussed in negative terms, predictable changes in climate can have a positive effect on an ecosystem. Warmer temperatures make conditions more conducive to growing crops, which allows farmers to produce the food necessary to feed people and livestock. Adverse weather conditions, such as heat waves, droughts, flood and extreme cold, have a negative effect on agriculture, which reduces the available food supply.
Climate affects human health on many levels. Short-term changes such as heat waves and flood can seriously impact health. These changes can also produce unhealthy water and limit or even deplete a region's food supply. Heat-related illnesses may spike during warmer months when temperatures rise far higher than average. Floods can contaminate crops and water, increasing the likelihood of food-borne and water-borne illnesses.
On a more long-term and ongoing scale, climate changes involving the planet's atmosphere can negatively affect human health. Changes in the ozone layer and levels of gases present in the air can increase the incidence of respiratory and breathing conditions such as asthma and allergies.