6 Global Warming Effects That May Surprise You

You might already think of global warming effects as melting ice, rising seas, stronger hurricanes. But it also means higher grocery bills, serious risk of infection, severe allergies, and more.

By Christina Coplon
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    Your groceries are costing more.

    Because of the 2012 North American Drought—a byproduct of low snowfall followed by high heat—about 80 percent of the country's agricultural land suffered, affecting corn and soybean crops, and dairy and meat products. For the average American, the USDA reports a 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent increase in U.S. food prices.

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    Clothing prices might go up, too.

    Environmentalists are keeping watch on both textile production and overconsumption: the depletion of natural materials and the carbon emissions released by factories are taking a toll on the planet. A recent sustainable project completed by Britain’s Forum for the Future predicted that by the year 2025, factories would be growing textiles from bacterial cellulose, an organic compound produced from bacteria.

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    Your chance of infection is higher.

    As temperatures in Northern areas continue to rise, insects migrate up to the warmer climates—often bringing illnesses with them. For instance, reports of Lyme disease have risen seven-fold in Maine, and twelve-fold in Vermont. Climate change is also affecting zoonosis, the transmission of infectious agents from animals to humans. Numerous studies are reviewing potential illnesses that could erupt as a result, including one on animal feces contaminating drinking water.

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    Your insurance rates are going up.

    Over the past three years insurance premiums have increased by six percent, Travelers Insurance CEO Jay Fishman told CNBC, because of recent weather-related disasters. For example, Superstorm Sandy, which hit the Northeast in October, caused insured losses that were estimated as high as $25 billion, the second-most costly storm in U.S. history after August 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

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    Your allergies are getting worse.

    Bad news for allergy sufferers: climate change could cause pollen counts to more than double over the next 30 years. “As you increase CO2 (carbon dioxide), it tells the allergenic plants to produce more pollen to the tune of three to four times more, and the pollen itself, we think, may actually be more potent,” Dr. Clifford Bassett, a New York allergist and ACAAI fellow told CNN in March.

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    It's not going to be as easy to breathe.

    Urban areas might be more troubled, with combined vehicle fumes, ground-level ozone, industrial pollution, and hot air. But any smog worsens health conditions that affect the respiratory system, causing chronic illnesses such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.

    Your Comments

    • Cheri

      Funny how they used to call it global warming and now it’s climate change.

    • biged

      Wow! What a bunch of ignoramuses post here! So you, and Glenn Beck know more about this than 95% of climate scientists do! You listen to Fox’s right wing clap-trap, as if it were gospel, and you wonder why everybody laughs at you?! (Yes, EVERYBODY! Glenn and Rush, and Bill O’Reilly laugh at you, all the way to the bank!)
      Go get educated. Read a few actual experts in the area. Forget everybody you listen to now. They have filled your head with lies, half truths, and nonsense.

      • Cheri

        There are arguments on both sides by scientists. I choose to believe that Al Gore is a liar and that climate change has been around since the beginning of time. The dinosaurs went extinct and obviously it wasn’t due to human beings creating climate change.

    • casper

      only reason food prices might go up with any relation at all to ‘global warming’ is because of all of the bogus cr@p rules being forced on fossil-fuel energy companies by the unelected, unaccountable idiots over at EPA. I had grown to expect better than this from RD but I guess it takes rocket scientists to see through the garbage coming from the climate ‘scientists’…

      • Cheri

        And it’s been a common practice for decades for farmers to not grow crops to keep prices up.

    • hisorianMI

      First: History doesn’t mention any calamities resulting from the warm climate period ca. 950-1350 CE. Agriculture thrived in Britain during this era, SW Greenland was successful colonized (until the “Little Ice Age”)-ca. 1400-1850 CE) Second: I noticed no mention that the petroleum WILL be produced; the only question is will the U.S. receive the oil—–or will the oil be sent to CHINA. And the problems with the pipeline(s) were unknown to me, except, of course, the one in SW Michigan (I live in SE Mich.) Those people who oppose something will always find or contrive reasons and evidence to support their opinions.

    • Guest

      What is the temperature supposed to be? Has the climate never changed before? Why is the planet Mars warming, too?

    • Robert Haavisto

      Fact is that the earth is actually cooling for the past 15 years.

    • truthrules

      I’m with drjack and riles. All the hype about global warming is nothing but a power grab for liberals!

      • Reader8091

        bwaaaaaa! funny. you look really young hopefully you will see the effect of the seas rising before you leave this planet. hopefully your beach house floats away:)

    • drjack

      The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Let’s hurry up and surrender more of our money and freedom for the farce of “Global Warming”. Oops, I mean “Climate change”.

      Global weather is much more related to sunspot activity than “greenhouse” gases. Most greenhouse gases come from volcanos anyway so there is nothing that we are able to do about that. Climategate emails showed that this is all about power and money. Something new in Washington?

      • biged

        You know more about this than 95% of climate scientists, who have spent decades of their lives studying it, from all angels? Really, and exactly how much do you actually know about it? Do you actually know anything? Well? I didn’t think so!
        Thank you for your uninformed, emotional take on the whole thing!

    • Stevmg

      Surprise! You mean Climate Change isn’t good for you as all the RightWingers claim?

      Maybe you better take this up with Glenn Beck.

      • riles123

        Stevmg is right, we cannot allow any fluctuations in the weather!!!! Immediately we must return all temperatures back to whichever previous year’s temps Stevmg designates as ‘correct’ or we all face complete inhalation!

      • Reader8091

        couldn’t reach him, he’s busy crying…