Lab Matters Fall Winter 2021 - Page 6


The Role of Public Health Laboratories on Climate Change

By Melanie Padgett Powers , writer
Each decade , the Earth ’ s temperature continues to rise . Ocean temperatures have increased . Seasons have shifted , with mosquitos and ticks — and their vector-borne diseases — showing up earlier or later in the year . States where people have rarely needed air conditioners are experiencing recordbreaking heatwaves . Rain can be erratic , with areas facing droughts , followed by intense rainfalls that speed up water runoff and cause flash flooding . Hurricanes and winter storms have increased in frequency and intensity .
NASA reports that the Earth ’ s temperature has increased about 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century , with most of the warming in the past 40 years . In fact , 2016 and 2020 are tied for the warmest year on record .
4 LAB MATTERS Fall / Winter 2021
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