Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change
Terrell Johnson - Weather.com
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June 10, 2014

Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change (PDF)

The impacts of climate change on the world are often obvious, like the sight of retreating glaciers in Alaska or the slow creep of rising seas that are washing big portions of southern Louisiana out into the Gulf of Mexico.

But look at it from a different perspective, and it's clear that some of the biggest impacts from Earth's rapidly warming climate occur within us as human beings, like the sense of loss and trauma felt by hurricane survivors after everything they know – their homes, workplaces, churches, really their entire community – is swept out to sea.

How we'll handle experiences like these in a world changed by global warming is the subject of a new report, "Beyond Storms and Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change," by the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica, an environmental advocacy group devoted to climate change and sustainability issues.

Both organizations issued the report as a wake-up call to all Americans, whom they say can expect "broad psychological impacts" on their well-being and health from climate change.

That means a future with heightened levels of stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, as well as a loss of community identity – if nothing is done to stop or slow emissions of industrial-produced greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

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