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Beyond Lyme Disease: The Unexpected Effects of Climate Change on Ticks

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Most people have heard of climate change, but few fully understand what it means or how it impacts the Earth's environment, especially when it comes to weather conditions. The National Geographic Society, one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, defines climate change as a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. It is caused primarily by human activities that result in the repeated release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Of course, climate change and the associated changes in global or regional climate patterns do not happen overnight or at all at once. It is a cumulative effect. In the last few years, evidence of climate change has become unmistakable. Whether it be increased frequency, intensity, or both, most parts of the world have experienced extreme weather events due to climate change.

What Some People Might Not Know About Climate Change

Many people use the terms climate and weather interchangeably. While they are connected, they are not the same. Climate refers to seasonal temperature, rainfall averages, and wind patterns in a particular region over a long period, typically 30 or more years. Meanwhile, weather refers to short-term atmospheric changes lasting several hours or a few days. Those short-term changes can include precipitation, humidity, and changes in atmospheric pressure. The same holds for wind speed and wind direction. Sunny, rainy, cloudy, foggy, cold, hot, and windy days are all byproducts of short-term atmospheric changes.


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