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A study on how weather affects populations

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Nayab N.
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  1. Macro level influences
    1. Impact on human migrations and growth of civilizations
    2. Global warming
    3. Impact on the economy
    4. Destruction and displacement
    5. Spread of diseases
    6. Impact on mortality
  2. Micro level influences
    1. Impact on human health
    2. Impact on human behavior
    3. Impact on mood swings
    4. Seasonal affective disorders
  3. Conclusion
  4. References

The impact of the weather and climate on a place has always been significant in history. In fact, hostile weather has been responsible for wiping out entire species and human civilizations. The last ice age made northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere inhospitable, and the flood mentioned in the Bible when Noah made his ark wiped out the entire population of the earth barring those in the ark. Even today, the overwhelming majority of the world's populace lives in temperate areas, away from the freezing poles and the scorching equator.

Impact on Human migrations and growth of civilizations

Since the dawn of history, human settlements, migrations, and growth have depended on weather conditions.

One of the earliest recorded large-scale impacts of weather on civilization was the melting of the Laurentide glacier beginning in 11,000 BC . This melting shut down oceanic currents and created a one-thousand-year cold spell in Europe and a simultaneous drought in southwest Asia.

[...] impacts of weather on civilization was the melting of the Laurentide glacier beginning in 11,000 BC[ii]. This melting shut down oceanic currents and created a one-thousand-year cold spell in Europe and a simultaneous drought in southwest Asia. These changes compelled sedentary foragers in these parts to make a transition to agriculture and animal husbandry, thereby heralding the growth of cities and urban life. Most of the great civilizations and empires that have developed since then have flourished near rivers and oceans, where the weather is moderate and suitable for the cultivation of crops and domestication of animals. [...]


[...] Impact on health The weather of a place has a profound effect on health and well-being of the people settled there. People generally perform at their best when they are not under stress from the surroundings, and that includes the weather. Seasonal variations in temperature and excessive humidity lead to medical disorders such as bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza, peptic ulcer, adrenal ulcer, glaucoma, goiter, eczema, and herpes zoster and several other viral infections. The Ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of sun. [...]


[...] Impact on the Economy All the scientific advancements notwithstanding, weather still play a major role in determining the shape of the economy. Good rains and pleasant weather would result in a greater agricultural output, which in turn would generate more jobs and prosperity in the economy. On the other hand, drought, floods and hurricane results in crop loss and food insecurity, and hence an economic downturn. The American central and south central states experienced several years of extreme drought and heat in the 1930's.[xii] The effect of the heat and consequent lack of rain had an obvious effect on the crops of the region with nothing growing in the arid soil. [...]

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