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UnDisciplined: Is climate change making us sicker?

Oh, baby it's hot: The sun shines down on people standing atop the roof of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, one of the cities in the grips of a dangerous heat wave.
Jonathan Alcorn
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Reuters /Landov
Rising temperatures are leading to rising health risks.

The average surface temperature on our planet is about two degrees Fahrenheit warmer now than it was in pre-industrial times, and the rate of change is quickly rising. But climate change isn't just making our world incrementally warmer. Researchers are now identifying ways in which its impacts are making us sicker, both physically and mentally.

Tarik Benmarhnia is an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego. His prolific work connecting population health and climate change has been recently published in journals including Environmental Research Letters, Environment International and Environmental Epidemiology.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>