Global warming affects people by impacting climate with higher temperatures and catastrophic weather conditions, causing health problems by exacerbating pollution and spreading pests, and decreasing living space through rising sea levels. These conditions bring on famine, drought, epidemics and financial turmoil.
Higher temperatures make ocean water warmer, which causes hurricanes to have more energy and create more damage. They also dry up forests, making them prone to wildfires, and cause drought conditions that inhibit the growing of food crops. There is increased risk of food shortages as water for irrigation decreases. In some areas, warmer temperatures lead to heavy rainfall, which causes flooding.
Heat waves resulting from global warming account for many heat-related deaths annually. As temperatures rise, pollution increases in many major metropolitan areas, causing health problems ranging from asthma and allergies. Global warming helps spread infectious diseases by causing disease-carrying insects, such as mosquitoes, to proliferate. Shortages of clean water become more prevalent as temperatures rise.
As glaciers melt, the sea level rises, posing a risk for those living in coastal areas. Land close to sea level may have to be evacuated. Low-lying cities, such as New Orleans, New York, Calcutta, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Istanbul, are in danger as of 2014. Coping with the effects of global warming profoundly impacts the global economy. According to the National Resources and Defense Council, $100 billion is spent annually as of 2014 to combat the effects of global warming, with the amount estimated to rise to $700 billion annually by 2030.