The types of weather a region receives depends on its climate, or long-term weather characteristics. Some regions are hot and arid, while others are temperate and humid. The benefits of weather and climate depend on the region, but there are some consistencies across the globe. From producing rainfall to creating the perfect places to mine for metals, climate and weather determine the way humans interact with their world.
Perhaps the most obvious and the most important benefit of weather and climate is that they bring rain, snow and other forms of precipitation. Humans and all other organisms need to consume a regular supply of water to survive. Without a fairly consistent source of water, it would be difficult to predict what sorts of crops could be cultivated in a given region. If a change in climate were to alter the weather so that it produced too little or too much water, it could have a major impact on agricultural and livestock.
Different climates in different parts of the world allow for a wide range of plant and animal life. In places like the rain forest, hot and humid temperatures and heavy rainfall promote the growth of plants that cannot be cultivated anywhere else in the world. Many of those plants are used in medicines and are essential to the pharmaceutical industry. On the opposite side of the climate spectrum, the ultra-dry deserts provide an ideal location for mining minerals and metals that are used for many production industries such as electronics.
The stability of the climate is an important factor to human health. Because overall climates are stable for long stretches of time, humans adapt to a given climate. For example, the evolution of light skin from dark was to help humans become more resistant to cold weather and synthesize more vitamin D per each exposure to ultraviolet light as they moved away from the equator to areas where there was less direct sunlight and more cloud-covered days. Rapid climate change could be detrimental to human health because the body cannot adapt quickly enough to changes in the weather and environment.
Having a stable climate and weather patterns benefits national security. If a government can predict the amount of water and the average risk for drought or other natural disasters, it can better prepare its population for possible adversities. If the climate and weather were to suddenly change, disaster response teams may not be able to adapt quickly enough. It could also lead to international conflicts as the need for humanitarian aid rises in response to a higher demand on resources.
About the Author
An avid lover of science and health, Meg Michelle began writing professionally about science and fitness in 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Creighton University and master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins. Her work has appeared in publications such as EARTH Magazine.