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8 ways climate change can kill you

By: Laura Moss on Sept. 24, 2010, noon
growling grizzly bear

Photo: By Jack Nevitt/Shutterstock

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Animal attack

When the planet gets too warm, we won’t be the only ones without food — animals will be looking for new food sources and venturing into suburbs and cities. Perhaps Stephen Colbert was right when he said bears were a threat to the nation — there have been multiple bear attacks in the U.S. this year, and wildlife officials are advising people to put away birdseed and secure their trash to discourage the animals.

Why are bears so hungry? Because berries, pinecones and nuts are in short supply due to poor growing conditions caused by climate change. Moscow officials have even warned citizens about threats from brown bear attacks because winters have been too warm for bears to hibernate, making them unusually aggressive.

But bears won’t be the only ones changing with the climate. As warming oceans erase the natural temperature barrier between the open sea and the shore, jellyfish will venture closer to coastlines. More than 700 people were stung by jellyfish off the coast of Spain this year, and in 2006, more than 30,000 were stung in the Mediterranean. As the planet continues to warm, scientists say the number of jellyfish congregating along beaches will continue to increase.