58% of an authoritative list of infectious diseases documented to have impacted humanity have already been shown to be aggravated by climatic hazards -- a finding the researchers found "shocking," Mora said.
Movement of people and animals caused by climate is one factor. Warming at higher latitudes allowed vectors and pathogens to survive winter is another factor. The report goes on to say, "The human pathogenic diseases and transmission pathways aggravated by climatic hazards are too numerous for comprehensive societal adaptations, highlighting the urgent need to work at the source of the problem: reducing GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions."
This research reveals more evidence that humans will have difficulty adapting to climate change, especially those in developing countries, Mora said.
"The magnitude of the vulnerability when you think about one or two diseases -- okay, sure, we can deal with that," he said. "But when you're talking about 58% of the diseases, and 58% of those diseases can be affected or triggered in 1,000 different ways. So that, to me, was also revealing of the fact that we're not going to be able to adapt to climate change."