The one upside many health experts see to global warming is that people in northern states such as Minnesota, North Dakota and Maine are likely to get more exercise outdoor exercise including jogging, walking and bike riding as winters become warmer. In fact, a new study published in the April 25th edition of the journal of Nature Human Behavior predicts that there will be 2.5% increase in such physical activities in northern climes by the end of the century.
However, lead author Nick Obradovich notes that the opposite will likely occur in other areas of the country. This is especially true for the American southwest where deserts will become even hotter, not to mention the deep south such as Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, etc (already known for having the largest proportion of obese people in the nation) where climbing temps will likely force more and more people to retreat indoors during daylight hours to keep cool, particularly in June, July, and August.
At the same time, while it’s a given that “the warmer it gets, the more people go outside,” once temps hit the low 80’ F, Obradovich, who researches the social impact of climate change at MIT and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, noted that trying to find any benefits regarding the effects of climate change is an act of desperation.
His study was also criticized by Dr. Jonathan Patz, director of the University of Wisconsin’s Global Health Institute in Madison, for not taking into consideration factors such as an increase in the popularity of winter sports, nor the amount of jobs ranging anywhere from professional athletes to construction workers, police and firefighters, as well as farmers, just to name a few that require lots of physical exertion regardless of the season.
In addition, Dr. Howard Frumkin noted that climate change is expected to hurt the global population far more than most people realize by increasing the severity of allergies as well as the spread of infectious disease, not to mention more and more deaths from heat waves and ensuing droughts.
This was already seen last July as a large part of the US sweltered in temperatures above 90 F throughout the Midwest and eastern seaboard, while 330 million people living in eastern and southern India broiled for weeks in temperatures of 112°F and more in August 2016. That heat wave was blamed for at least 160 human and untold animal deaths there.
It should also be mentioned that excessively high humidity that keeps temperatures very warm long after the sun goes down can be even more dangerous than the daytime highs, since bodies don’t have the opportunity to “recover,” particularly when the thermometer climbs into triple digits. According to health officials, “the temperature needs to drop to at least 80 degrees for recovery to begin.”