Visualizing the surprising cascading effects of climate disasters| Trending Viral hub

When people imagine the consequences of a natural disaster, skin infections and gastrointestinal illnesses are not usually the problems that come to mind. But these conditions are embedded in a cascade of widespread and often unexpected consequences of wildfires, hurricanes and other climate change-related calamities. a report titled disaster atlas connects the dots between the initial effects of climate hazards and longer-term outcomes. Most of the United States is already feeling the impact: 90 percent of American counties experienced a climate-related disaster in the decade from 2011 to 2021, and some have seen many. The damage is even worse in many other parts of the world.

“Climate change is here and our communities are suffering,” says report co-author Amy Chester, CEO of Rebuild by Design, a nonprofit founded after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. She hopes this research will divert the national debate. from what to do if climate disasters occur to what we can do now that they are happening.

The chart includes 4 levels.  The top tier comprises six climate hazards, including drought and wildfires.  The next level, caused by elements of the higher level, are secondary hazards, including evacuation and power outage.  The third level includes short-term outcomes, such as displacement and dehydration.  The lowest level comprises long-term outcomes, including mortality and mental health effects.
Credit: Federica Fragapane; Inspired by the graphic “Cascading impacts of climate events” by Geethanjali MR, in disaster atlas, from Reconstruction by Design; Reconstruction by design sources: Preparing for the regional health impacts of climate change in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health and Climate Program, July 2020; Human health and the climate crisis, by Gail L. Carlson, Jones & Bartlett Learning, January 2022; “Health effects of coastal storms and flooding in urban areas: a review and vulnerability assessment,” by Kathryn Lane et al., in Journal of public and environmental health, vol. 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/913064

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