‘Cascading’ Climate Disasters Can Destabilize Entire Societies

Climate change, which is driven by the human consumption of fossil fuels, is making extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heatwaves, floods, and droughts much more intense. Not only does this trend threaten people and ecosystems around the world, but a new study concludes that it could destabilize entire societies.

Extreme heat and drought, which frequently overlap in our warming world, can produce “cascading impacts” that “propagate through numerous sectors with far reaching consequences, potentially being able to destabilize entire socio-economic systems,” according to a study published on Wednesday in PLOS Climate…

“A relevant finding of our study is that the impact of compound heat and drought is not just the sum of their separate impact on different systems,” Laura Niggli said in an email. “It is well known how severely the impacts of extreme events can be e.g. for health (with high excess mortality related to extreme heat or bad air quality), food production (with large losses in the agriculture sector due to dry spells or extreme precipitation, and limited availability of fodder and water for animals), energy (related to limited cooling water for nuclear power plants, or limited water for hydropower generation) or mobility (e.g. waterway transport restrictions due to low flows in rivers, or buckling of rail tracks) etc.”

The material world interconnects in every conceivable dialectic. Sums increase. Actions increase. Futures are foretold in more than one way – every time.

Kid’s Noses Fight COVID Better Than Adults’

That might be one reason why children’s immune responses have so far proven more effective at avoiding and fighting COVID-19, says Kirsty Short from the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland.

“Children have a lower COVID-19 infection rate and milder symptoms than adults, but the reasons for this have been unknown,” Short says…

“We’ve shown the lining of children’s noses has a more pro-inflammatory response to the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 than adult noses. But we found it’s a different ball game when it come to the Omicron variant…”

The results show the virus replicated less efficiently in the children’s nasal cells, as well as a heightened antiviral response…

‘Future clinical studies will be needed to validate these preliminary findings in a larger population and to determine the role of other factors’…but, meanwhile, what can we learn right from the front to aid our whole populations?