How High Temperatures Affect Human Evolution

Climate change is having a visible impact on human life. Looking to the future, how will the long-term trend of global warming affect the human population itself ? Climate change will alter the inner workings of the human body in small but significant ways, and may lead to noticeable changes in the body’s appearance. Let’s first look at the effects on the human body. A warming climate means that diseases such as malaria and West Nile fever that have long been prevalent in tropical regions will spread to temperate regions. As a result, residents of developed countries such as the United States will be exposed to these diseases, and their immune systems will be forced to evolve new defense mechanisms that may lead to other non-communicable diseases. Our digestive system also evolves with the food we eat, and the type of food we eat depends on the kinds of crops and livestock that are grown locally. Changing diet can also trigger changes in the human microbiome. Vegetarians tend to have different flora than meat eaters. This microbiome change could be further amplified if prolonged droughts make feeding too expensive and people lose access to livestock meat.

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