Public Health

    10 facts on climate change and health

    World Health Organization's short fact file and photo gallery about predicted health effects of climate change.

    A human health perspective on climate change: A report outlining the research needs on the human health effects of climate change

    Report by the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health (IWGCCH), published by Environmental Health Perspectives and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, April 22, 2010. The purpose of this paper is to identify research critical for understanding the impact of climate change on human health so that we can both mitigate and adapt to the environmental effects of climate change in the healthiest and most efficient ways. (PDF, 4.99 MB)

    A view from above: Use of satellite imagery to enhance our understanding of potential impacts of climate change on human health in the Arctic

    N.G. Maynard, G.A. Conway. Alaska Medicine (2007) 49(2 Suppl):38-43. Increased capabilities for monitoring, risk mapping, information sharing, communications, and surveillance of environmental parameters are powerful tools for addressing environment-related health problems.

    Adapting to climate change: Public health

    J.M. Samet. June 2009. This paper addresses the projected health consequences of climate change, reviewing the projected adverse effects, the diverse strategies that might mitigate these effects, and the potential effectiveness of these strategies. It addresses temperature, aeroallergens and allergic diseases, air pollution, and infectious diseases. (PDF, 872 KB)

    Adapting to climate change: What should the health sector be doing?

    R.S. Kovats. International Journal of Circumpolar Health (2009) 68(1):6-7. The heat wave that occurred in August 2003 in Europe was unprecedented. The huge impact on the health of Europeans caused health policy makers to seriously consider this environmental hazard, in many countries for the first time. (PDF, 109 KB)

    Alaska the 'poster state' for climate concerns

    E. Weise. USA Today (updated 5/31/06). Alaska is important in measuring the effect of global warming on the USA because what happens here soon will be felt in the Lower 48 states.

    An action plan for public health: Initial recommendations for involving public health in climate change policy

    Report prepared by Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP), 2010. PHLP has embarked upon the task of providing the public health community with the practical tools, policy strategies, and legal resources it needs to effectively participate in climate change planning activities taking place at the state, regional, and local levels. To accomplish this, PHLP is working in cooperation with a coalition of stakeholders, including experts in public health, land use planning, climate science, and environmental law. (PDF, 2.17 MB)

    An approach for assessing human health vulnerability and public health interventions to adapt to climate change

    K.L. Ebi et al. Environmental Health Perspectives (2006) 114(12):1930-1934. The authors developed methods for country-level assessments to help policy makers make evidence-based decisions to increase resilience to current and future climates, and to provide information for national communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Analyses of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human systems

    A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research which outlines direct impacts of climate change on human health.

    Arctic human health initiative: A contribution to the International Polar Year

    A.J. Parkinson. Circumpolar Health Supplements (2010) 6. Human health concerns and challenges of Arctic peoples include the health impacts of environmental contaminants, climate change, and rapidly changing social and economic conditions. (PDF, 5 MB)

    Background paper on the human health consequences of climate change in the circumpolar north

    L.D. Weiss. Proceedings of the Fifth Northern Research Forum (2008). There is a consensus in the literature that climate change and the resulting health consequences will probably be most severe in far northern regions. Since the average Arctic temperature has increased at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the world during the last 20 years, northern regions may be a sentinel site for the detection of changes in the epidemiology of hazards to human health resulting from climate change. (PDF, 75.4 KB)

    Beyond climate focus and disciplinary myopia: The roles and responsibilities of hospitals and healthcare professionals

    J.P. Ulhøi, B.P. Ulhøi. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2009) 6(3):1204-1214. So far, health-providing organizations such as hospitals have paid surprisingly little attention to the relationships between environmental change (e.g., climate change) and human health, or between hospitals (as professional organizations) and their impact on sustainable development. (PDF, 62.5 KB)

    Canadian federal support for climate change and health research compared with the risks posed

    J.D. Ford et al. American Journal of Public Health (2011) 101(5):814-821. For emerging public health risks such as climate change, the Canadian federal government has a mandate to provide information and resources to protect citizens' health. Research is a key component of this mandate and is essential if Canada is to moderate the health effects of a changing climate.

    Climate and your health: Addressing the most serious health impacts of climate change

    Fact sheet published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 2011. Science shows that climate change will affect human health across the world. From diminished air quality and degradation of food and water supplies to increasing levels of allergens and catastrophic weather events, we will experience a number of worsening health threats during our lifetimes. (PDF, 1.28 MB)

    Climate change and environmental impacts on maternal and newborn health with focus on Arctic populations

    C. Rylander et al. Global Health Action (2011) 4:DOI: 10.3402/gha.v4i0.8452. Air pollution and food security are crucial issues for the pregnant population in a changing climate, especially indoor climate and food security in Arctic areas. (PDF, 6.64 MB)

    Climate change and health and well-being in Canada's North

    M. Armstrong. Newsletter of the Northern Climate Exchange (2004). Climate change is affecting the environment and, thus, traditional lifestyles in the North, and it is important to understand how these changes will affect people's health. (PDF, 123 KB)

    Climate change and health effects in Northwest Alaska

    M. Brubaker et al. Global Health Action (2011) 4:DOI:10.3402/gha.v4i0.8445. This article provides examples of adverse health effects, including weather-related injury, food insecurity, mental health issues, and water infrastructure damage, and the responses to these effects that are currently being applied in two Northwest Alaska communities. (PDF, 1.97 MB)

    Climate change and health impacts: Point Hope, Alaska

    Center for Climate and Health, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. This report describes climate impacts observed in Point Hope, Alaska. It relies upon the observations, data and traditional ecological knowledge provided by local partners. Additionally, scientific data on environment, health and climate is provided where available. The purpose is to describe changes that are occurring so as to help in the development of adaptive strategies that encourage community health and resilience. Published October 2009 (PDF, 6.83 MB, archived webpage)

    Climate change and health in British Columbia: Projected impacts and a proposed agenda for adaptation research and policy

    A. Ostry et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2010) 7(3):1018-1035. This is a case study describing how climate change may affect the health of British Columbians and suggesting a way forward to promote health and policy research, and adaptation to these changes. (PDF, 168.21 KB)

    Climate change and health research: Time for teamwork

    S.H. Hrynkow. Environmental Health Perspectives (2008) 116(11):A470. As efforts toward mitigation of climate change gather momentum, there is an increased need to understand the linkages between climate change and human health and the potential health consequences of mitigation strategies. Although there is substantial knowledge of how climate change can affect human health, there is much the scientific community does not know or understand.

    Climate change and human health

    International Journal of Circumpolar Health (2005) 64(5). This entire issue is dedicated to effects of climate change on human health.

    Climate change and human health

    G. Luber, N. Prudent. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association (2009) 120:113-117. Climate change science points to an increase in sea surface temperature, increases in the severity of extreme weather events, declining air quality, and destabilizing natural systems due to increases in greenhouse gas emissions. The direct and indirect health results of such a global imbalance include excessive heat-related illnesses, vector- and waterborne diseases, increased exposure to environmental toxins, exacerbation of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases due to declining air quality, and mental health stress among others.

    Climate change and human health: Risks and responses

    Report published by the World Health Organization in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2003. The report seeks to provide quantitative estimates of the total health impacts of climate change. It lays out the steps necessary to further scientific investigation and to develop strategies and policies to help societies adapt to climate change (PDF 2.26 MB). Also available is summary of the report (PDF 2.27 MB).

    Climate change and impacts on human health in the Arctic: An international workshop on emerging threats and the response of Arctic communities to climate change

    A.J. Parkinson, J. Berner. International Journal of Circumpolar Health (2009) 68(1):84-91. Summary of workshop held in Anchorage, Alaska, February 13-15, 2008. (PDF, 266.52 KB)

    Climate Change and Public Health

    Webpage produced by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Climate change and public health

    Statement by Howard Frumkin, National Center for Environmental Health/ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDC, before Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, U.S. House of Representatives, April 9, 2008. (archived webpage)

    Climate change and the health of the public

    H. Frumkin et al., eds. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2008) 35(5):401-538. This entire issue of AJPM is dedicated to climate change and health. Articles include: Climate change and the health of the public • Climate change and public health: Thinking, communicating, acting • Climate change and health: Strengthening the evidence base for policy • Think locally, act globally: How curbing global warming emissions can improve local public health • The year 2008: A breakthrough year for health protection from climate change? • Climate change, health sciences, and education • Climate change and extreme heat events • Climate and vectorborne diseases • Climate change, air quality, and human health • Climate change: The importance of place • Public perception of climate change: Voluntary mitigation and barriers to behavior change • Communication and marketing as climate change intervention assets: A public health perspective • Community-based adaptation to the health impacts of climate change • Building human resilience: The role of public health preparedness and response as an adaptation to climate change • The built environment, climate change, and health: Opportunities for co-benefits • Climate change: Impacts on, and implications for, global health.

    Climate change and the impact on human health – An Alaska perspective

    Dr. Jeff Demain, founder and director of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska, presented this talk at the 2009 Alaska WWAMI Mini Medical School on October 20, 2009. He discussed his research on the health effects of climate change in Alaska. This recording aired on KSKA Public Radio's "Addressing Alaskans" on November 19, 2009.

    Climate change can be hazardous to your health

    D. Fischer, The Daily Climate, July 13, 2010. From heat stress to sewage overflows, climate change promises to bring extreme weather that can throw our nation's ill-prepared public health infrastructure 'back to the 1890s,' according to experts.

    Climate change effects on human health in a gender perspective: Some trends in Arctic research

    K. Natalia. Global Health Action (2011) 4:DOI: 10.3402/gha.v4i0.7913. Gender approach towards climate change impacts on human health would imply exploring, for example, how gender power relations are involved in the context of climate and environmental impacts on human health; what dispositions are available to men and women; which adaptation and resilience strategies are at the disposal of women and men; how health risks, health rights, and health security are perceived by women and men and, in turn, how their awareness affects their situation and agency. (PDF, 246.8 KB)

    Climate change health assessment: A novel approach for Alaska Native communities

    M.Y. Brubaker et al. International Journal of Circumpolar Health (2011) 70(3):266-273. In Alaska, the effects of climate change vary by region and by community, but across the state residents are concerned about threats to food and water resources, public safety, and infrastructure. In response, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) developed a Climate Change Health Assessment (CCHA) process that identifies vulnerability and develops response capacity at the local and regional level. (PDF, 140.73 KB)

    Climate change impact on public health in the Russian Arctic

    B. Revich et al. United Nations in the Russian Federation, 2008. The negative impact of climate warming in the Russian Arctic is seen even more clearly than in other parts of the country. Global warming creates significant challenges for both public health and traditional natural resources management among indigenous peoples in the Arctic. (PDF, 2.32 MB)

    Climate Change Impacts

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides links to information resources on the human health and environmental effects of climate change.

    Climate change in Kiana, Alaska: Strategies for community health

    Report prepared by ANTHC Center for Climate and Health, October 2011. Kiana is a small Inupiat Eskimo community located on the north bank of the Kobuk River. Life in Kiana revolves around subsistence, and people engage year-round in hunting, fishing, and gathering wild foods and materials. Perhaps the most important impact from warming is the thawing of permafrost along the rivers, under lakes, and across the land. (PDF, 6.35 MB)

    Climate change in Kivalina, Alaska: Strategies for community health

    Report prepared by ANTHC Center for Climate and Health, January 2011. There are many uncertainties about the future of Kivalina, but it is obvious that climate change is resulting in serious health challenges that need to be addressed. The purpose of this report is to facilitate informed decision making, and the development of adaptive measures that encourage a sustainable and healthy future for Kivalina and other communities in the Northwest Arctic region. (PDF, 7.94 MB)

    Climate change in Noatak, Alaska: Strategies for community health

    Report prepared by ANTHC Center for Climate and Health, June 2011. In Noatak, the rate of climate change is not just measured in decades, but rather in years, months, or even hours. Residents traveling the Noatak River encounter sections of collapsed riverbank that were intact only hours before. (PDF, 8.2 MB, archived webpage)

    Climate change in Point Hope, Alaska: Strategies for community health

    Report prepared by ANTHC Center for Climate and Health, August 2010. Point Hope is one of the most exposed communities in Alaska, vulnerable to the full force of coastal storms and the constant shaping of the land by the wind and the sea. Shore erosion and the risk of flooding has forced relocation in the past. Today with the added pressure of climate change, Point Hope continues its struggle with increased urgency against erosion and against other emerging challenges to the community, the culture, and to public health. (PDF, 10.31 MB, archived webpage)

    Climate change influences infectious diseases both in the Arctic and the tropics: Joining the dots

    B. Evengård, R. Sauerborn. Global Health Action (2009) DOI: 10.3402/gha.v2i0.2106. Despite obvious differences in environmental and socio-economic contexts, there are commonalities between these areas, both in the mechanisms through which climate change influences disease transmission and in the adaptation responses health systems can and should mount. (PDF, 218.04 KB)

    Climate change is a daily reality for Inuit (Letter from Reykjavik)

    S. Nickels. Alternatives Journal (2004) 30(5):7. Altered land and marine wildlife migratory patterns, the declining quality of traditional meats and pelts such as caribou and seal, and shifting permafrost levels all have an effect on community and infrastructure.

    Climate change, health, and vulnerability in Canadian northern aboriginal communities

    C. Furgal, J. Seguin. Environmental Health Perspectives (2006) 114(12):1964-1970. This article reviews experiences from two projects that have taken a community-based dialogue approach to identifying and assessing the effects of, and vulnerability to, climate change and the impact on the health in two Inuit regions of the Canadian Arctic.

    Climate change, human health, and integrative research: A transformative imperative

    A.J. McMichael, B.A. Wilcox. EcoHealth (2009) 6(2):163-164. Our societies have not yet gotten the full measure of the risks posed by climate change, particularly the risks to health. Nor is it well understood that many risks will be compounded by the actions of coexistent stressors, such as land degradation, water shortages, disruptions to the global cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus, accelerating biodiversity losses, and ocean acidification.

    Climate change, its impact on human health in the Arctic and the public health response to threats of emerging infectious diseases

    A.J. Parkinson, B. Evengård. Global Health Action (2009) DOI: 10.3402/gha.v2i0.2075. Resident indigenous populations of the Arctic are uniquely vulnerable to climate change because of their close relationship with, and dependence on, the land, sea, and natural resources for their well-being. (PDF, 63.3 KB)

    Climate change: A time of need and opportunity for the health sector

    A.J. McMichael et al. The Lancet. Published online November 25, 2009.This article calls attention to the importance of the public health sector in addressing challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. (PDF, 61.8 KB)

    Climate change: Present and future risks to health, and necessary responses

    A.J. McMichael, E. Lindgren. Journal of Internal Medicine (2011) 270(5):401-413. Climate change will amplify health problems in vulnerable regions, influence infectious disease emergence, affect food yields and nutrition, increase risks of climate-related disasters, and impair mental health. The health sector should assist society understand the risks to health and the needed responses.

    Climate change: The implications for policy on injury control and health promotion

    I. Roberts, M. Hillman. Injury Prevention (2005) 11(6):326-329. As climate change is a risk factor for both violence and unintentional injury, and because controlling climate change provides substantial scope for the promotion of health, it should be the focus of policy for the injury control community. (PDF, 110.02 KB)

    Climate change: The public health response

    H. Frumkin et al. American Journal of Public Health (2008) 98(3):435-445. There is scientific consensus that the global climate is changing, with rising surface temperatures, melting ice and snow, rising sea levels, and increasing climate variability. These changes are expected to have substantial impacts on human health.

    Climate, Ecosystems & Human Health Work Group

    The primary purpose of this group is to identify and describe climate impacts that are priorities for public health. By engaging the broad, interdisciplinary experience of the various partner agencies, this work group will help improve the quality of information, services, and technical assistance available to Alaskans, and elevate awareness about climate-health connections. The CEHH WG will also communicate key priorities and needs to the Alaska Climate Change Executive Roundtable and the Governor's Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change.

    Community perspectives on the impact of climate change on health in Nunavut, Canada

    G.K. Healey et al. Arctic (2011) 64(1):89-97. The purpose of this study was to explore community perspectives on the most important ways that climate change is affecting the health of northern peoples. Participants believed that by engaging in a process of ongoing reflection, and by continually incorporating new knowledge and experiences into traditional knowledge systems, communities may be better able to adapt and cope with the challenges to health posed by climate change.

    Doctors urged to take climate leadership role

    F. Harvey,, April 5, 2011. Doctors must take a leading role in highlighting the dangers of climate change, which will lead to conflict, disease, and ill-health, and threatens global security, according to a stark warning from an unusual alliance of physicians and military leaders.

    Driven to extremes: Health effects of climate change

    J. Tibbets. Environmental Health Perspectives (2007) 115(4):A196-A203. This article discusses disease fallout from extreme weather caused by climate change.

    Emerging threats to human health from global environmental change

    S.S. Myers, J.A. Patz. Annual Review of Environment and Resources (2009) 34:223-252. Large-scale anthropogenic changes to the natural environment, including land-use change, climate change, and the deterioration of ecosystem services, are all accelerating. These changes are interacting to generate five major emerging public health threats that endanger the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of people. These threats include increasing exposure to infectious disease, water scarcity, food scarcity, natural disasters, and population displacement.

    Environmental health indicators of climate change for the United States: Findings from the State Environmental Health Indicator Collaborative

    P.B. English et al. Environmental Health Perspectives (2009) 117(11):1673-1681. To develop public health adaptation strategies and to project the impacts of climate change on human health, indicators of vulnerability and preparedness along with accurate surveillance data on climate-sensitive health outcomes are needed.

    Global climate change and health: Developing a research agenda for the NIH

    J.P. Rosenthal et al. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association (2009) 120:129-141. The impact of climate change on human health is likely to be complex and significant, including effects on cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, food-, water-, and vector-borne diseases, heat-related illness, mental and social well-being, nutrition, trauma, and vulnerable demographic sectors.

    Global climate change impacts in the U.S. [report highlights]

    U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2009. This booklet highlights key findings of Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, a state-of-knowledge report about the observed and projected consequences of climate change. (PDF, 3.9 MB)

    Global environmental change and human health

    J. Eyles, S.J. Elliott. Canadian Geographer (2001) 45(1):99-104. The authors explore how the impacts of global change on environment affect the health and well-being of Canadians. In particular, they examine the effects of climate change and pollution, as well as the impacts of environmental contaminant situations on psychosocial health and well-being.

    Global environmental change and human health: A public health research agenda

    J.P. Mackenbach. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2007) 61(2):92-94. Environmental problems, and our perceptions of their current and future health effects, have changed over the decades. About 20-40 years back, public health was most concerned about localized environmental degradation, as exemplified by air and water pollution. We have since become aware, however, of the threats to human health which operate at a much larger geographical scale. (PDF, 165.32 KB)

    Global environmental change: The threat to human health

    S.S. Myers, MD, MPH, Worldwatch Institute, 2009. It is increasingly apparent that the breadth and depth of the changes we are wreaking on the environment are imperiling not only many of the other species with which we share the ecological stage, but the health and wellbeing of our own species as well.

    Global environmental change: What can health care providers and the environmental health community do about it now?

    B.S. Schwartz et al. Environmental Health Perspectives (2006) 114(12):1807-1812. Global environmental changes constitute a profound challenge to human health, both as a direct threat and as a promoter of other risks.

    Global health and climate change: Moving from denial and catastrophic fatalism to positive action

    A. Costello et al. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (2011) 369(1942):1866-1882. Climate change will be a major threat to population health in the current century through its potential effects on communicable disease, heat stress, food and water security, extreme weather events, vulnerable shelter, and population migration. This paper addresses three health-sector strategies to manage the health effects of climate change: promotion of mitigation, tackling the pathways that lead to ill-health, and strengthening health systems.

    Global warming: A public health concern

    B.M. Afzal, MS, RN. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (2007) 12(2). This article provides a brief overview of global warming and climate changes, discusses effects of climate change on health, considers the factors that contribute to climate changes, and reviews individual and collective efforts related to reducing global warming.

    Health and Climate Change

    The Lancet (2009). This Lancet series is the result of an international collaboration of scientists supported by a consortium of funding bodies coordinated by the Wellcome Trust, UK.

    Health effects of climate change

    A. Haines, J.A. Patz. JAMA (2004) 291(1):99-103. The residence time in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide exceeds 100 years; therefore, our actions affect the prospects of future generations. (PDF, 268.08 KB)

    Health effects of climate change

    Fact sheet published by National Institutes of Health in October 2010. (PDF, 268.08 KB)

    Health effects of climate change

    National Wildlife Federation hosted this forum on the health effects of climate change. The speakers were Jeffrey Demain, MD, who has researched the allergic and respiratory impacts of climate change; Michael Brubaker, MS, director of the Center for Climate and Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium; and Joe McLaughlin, MD, chief epidemiologist for State of Alaska. The forum was recorded at University of Alaska Anchorage on March 16, 2010, and aired on KSKA Public Radio's "Addressing Alaskans" on March 25, 2010. (MP3, 46.0 MB), [1:40:34 min] Also available here is Mr. Brubaker's slide presentation, <a href=""><em>Climate Change Effects on Community Health: Observations from Northwest Alaska</em></a>. (PDF 3.02 MB) This interviews requires the use of the QuickTime, which can be downloaded from QuickTime's Web site at no charge.

    Health effects of global warming: Developing countries are the most vulnerable

    P. Kasotia. UN Chronicle (2007) 44(2):48-49. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the increase in global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is primarily due to fossil fuel use and, in a smaller but still significant level, to land-use change.

    Health in the Arctic and climate change

    H.S. Pedersen. Polar Research (2007) 26(2):104-106. The Arctic environment is like a magnifying glass. Many of the hazards stemming from industrial activity in the South tend to concentrate in the North. This is true for DDT, PCB, heavy metals and many other substances that may endanger human health. Climate change is yet another example of how the negative impact of industrial activity may be magnified in the Arctic region. (PDF, 95 KB)

    Health problems heat up: Climate change and the public's health

    Report prepared by Trust for America's Health (TFAH), October 2009. In this report, TFAH (1) examines the human health effects of climate change and the role public health authorities must play in preventing and preparing for further climate-related damage, (2) explores the needs of state and local health departments as they set out to conduct climate change needs assessments and develop strategic plans to prevent and prepare for climate change, and (3) recommends increased action from federal, state, and local government to protect the nation from the harmful effects of climate change. (PDF, 882.4 KB)

    Health scenarios for a warming world

    C.M. Cooney. Environmental Health Perspectives (2010) 118(9):A382. A new NRC report discusses three main types of health-related stress expected from rising average temperatures: illness and infectious diseases carried by animal hosts and mosquitoes and other vectors, heat-related illness and deaths, and health problems due to air pollution and water contamination. (PDF, 2.33 MB)

    Heat health planning: The importance of social and community factors

    J. Yardley et al. Global Environmental Change (2011) 21(2):670-679. This paper reviews the literature on the social and community level factors that affect heat-related morbidity and mortality in order to identify shortfalls in current heat health response plans so that new approaches can be recommended.

    Human health

    Chapter 15 (pages 863-906) of ACIA Scientific Report, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Health status in many arctic regions has changed significantly over the past decades, and the climate, weather, and environment have played, and will continue to play, a significant role in the health of residents in these regions. (PDF, 1.77 MB)

    Human health and global climate change: A review of potential impacts in the United States

    Report prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, December 2000. This is the sixth in a series of Pew Center reports evaluating the potential impacts of climate change on the U.S. environment and society. The report finds that, because the linkages between climate and human health are often complex and not well defined, it is difficult to predict exactly how climate change will impact human health in the United States.

    Human health in a changing climate: A Canadian assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity

    Report by the Climate Change and Health Office, Health Canada, 2008. This assessment provides the most up-to-date synthesis of knowledge on how the health of Canadians is affected by the climate and what lies ahead under future climate scenarios. It explores how governments, communities, and individuals are drawing on current capacity to address and mitigate the effects of climate on health. (PDF 6.15 MB) A synthesis report is also available. (PDF, 13.51 MB)

    In Arctic, climate-change threats include giardia, food poisoning

    A. DeMarban, Alaska Dispatch, March 2, 2011. Climate change presents new risks for food care, sanitation, and wellbeing in the Arctic, but little research has been done in remote villages experiencing some of the biggest temperature swings. That's beginning to change, thanks to a pair of reports that meld scientific data with local observations in the Northwest Alaska communities of Point Hope and Kivalina.

    Inuit health in a changing climate

    James D. Ford of McGill University gave this presentation to guests at a dinner hosted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health (IAPH) in Iqaluit, Nunavut, May 11, 2010.

    Northern Climate Observer

    This e-newsletter is distributed weekly via listserv by the Center for Climate and Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. It's an up-to-date source of information on climate-related health issues in Alaska and other areas of the circumpolar north.

    Northern health will suffer from climate change, doctor says

    CBC News, June 19, 2006. Climate change is the biggest threat to the health of people living in northern regions, the co-chair of the International Conference on Circumpolar Health says.

    Nunatsiavut's public health surveillance in response to a changing climate: A baseline study

    S. Owens et al., CHUQ, 2009. This report presents the Nunatsiavut Region results of a multiple case study of public health surveillance and environmental monitoring among four Inuit regions of the Canadian North. (PDF, 1.97 MB)

    Physicians and the environment

    P.S. Auerbach. JAMA (2008) 299(8):956-958. Global climate change and other environmental issues are worthy of physicians' attention and understanding, although the full eventual effects on human health are not well defined.

    Preparing a people: Climate change and public health

    C.M. Cooney. Environmental Health Perspectives (2011) 119(4):166-171. Changes in climate patterns that have been seen in the United States and around the world are likely to be connected with sweltering heat waves in Chicago, Milwaukee, and other locales, many scientists agree. Yet disease and mortality tied with heat are not the only public health dangers arising from climate change. (PDF, 688.5 KB)

    Protecting health from climate change: Connecting science, policy and people

    Report by the World Health Organization, 2009. Climate change can no longer be considered simply an environmental or developmental issue. More importantly, it puts at risk the protection and improvement of human health and well-being. A greater appreciation of the human health dimensions of climate change is necessary for both the development of effective policy and the mobilization of public engagement. (PDF, 1.73 MB)

    Public health ethics in times of global environmental change: Time to look beyond human interests

    J.P. Mackenbach. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (2007) 35(1):1-3. Global environmental changes form potential, though partly or largely unknown, threats to human health, for example through heatwaves and other extreme weather events, changes in the spread of microorganisms, changes in biological productivity of land and water, and air and water pollution.

    Public perceptions of climate change as a human health risk: Surveys of the United States, Canada and Malta

    K. Akerlof et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2010) 7(6):2559-2606. The authors used data from nationally representative surveys conducted in the United States, Canada and Malta between 2008 and 2009 to answer three questions: Does the public believe that climate change poses human health risks, and if so, are they seen as current or future risks? Whose health does the public think will be harmed? In what specific ways does the public believe climate change will harm human health? (PDF, 608.7 KB)

    Readying health services for climate change: A policy framework for regional development

    E. Bell. American Journal of Public Health (2011) 101(5):804-813. The relative neglect of implementation science means that policymakers need to be proactive about sourcing and developing models and processes to make health services ready for climate change. Health research funding agencies should urgently prioritize applied, regionally responsive health services research for a future of climate change.

    Rising temperatures and threats to health: More concerted action on public health coming from medical community interests

    L. Palmer, Yale Forum, June 7, 2011. Public health/climate change connections increasingly being recognized by the medical establishment might help in informing the public at large. Policy experts say a growing awareness of the public health/climate linkage could be a key in breaking through political logjams impeding action on mitigation and adaptation.

    Risks to human health from a changing Arctic

    Jay Van Oostdam BSc, DVM, MPH, Health Canada, HECSBr. Report at Arctic Health Week 2009 on the effects of climate change on the peoples of the arctic, their health and diet. (PDF, 1,32 MB )

    Sentinel symptoms of climate change: Indicators for related health effects

    B. Weinhold. Environmental Health Perspectives (2009) 117(11):A504. A workgroup of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists has identified a set of indicators that it says will allow national and local officials in the United States to better predict climate-change health effects and to take appropriate action as it becomes warranted.

    Sustainable development, climate change and human health in the Arctic

    A.J. Parkinson. International Journal of Circumpolar Health (2010) 69(1):99-105. Resident indigenous Arctic populations are uniquely vulnerable to climate change because of their close relationship with, and dependence on, the land, sea, and natural resources for their cultural, social, economic, and physical well-being. Climate change will affect the sustainable development of these communities through its impact on sanitation and water facilities, food supply, prevalence of infectious diseases, and transportation infrastructures. (PDF, 157 KB)

    Taking the reins of the white horse of climate change

    G.K. Jensen. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2009) 63(4):269-270. According to a joint report from the European Environment Agency, the Joint Research Centre, and the World Health Organization published in September 2008, an urgent need now exists to increase awareness and action on the effects on human health of climate change.

    The health impacts of climate change: Getting started on a new theme

    K.L. Ebi et al. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (2008) 23(Suppl 2):60-64. To effectively prepare for and cope with climate change impacts, public health must move from a focus on surveillance and response to a greater emphasis on prediction and prevention.

    The health of Arctic populations: Does cold matter?

    T.K. Young, T.M. Mäkinen. American Journal of Human Biology (2010) 22(1):129-133. With climate change increasingly affecting the Arctic, the association between climate and population health status is of public health significance.

    The health practitioner's guide to climate change: Diagnosis and cure

    J. Griffiths et al. (eds.), Earthscan, 2009, 380 pages. This book was published in a year when climate change took center stage in the world's arena with the much-anticipated U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The authors' goal is to offer resources to healthcare practitioners on climate change and its interaction with health, but also, more importantly, suggestions on actions they can undertake to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to advocate for social and policy change. (PDF, 154.6 KB)

    The perception factor: Climate change gets personal

    C.M. Cooney. Environmental Health Perspectives (2010) 118(11):A484-A489. One way to encourage Americans to adopt a more serious outlook toward climate change is by having medical professionals link health issues and climate change impacts. Information about the potential health benefits of specific mitigation-related policy actions appears to be particularly compelling for individuals.

    U.S. funding is insufficient to address the human health impacts of, and public health responses to, climate variability and change

    K.L. Ebi et al. Environmental Health Perspectives (2009) 117(6):857-862. In this commentary, the authors summarize the health risks of climate change in the United States and examine the extent of federal funding devoted to understanding, avoiding, preparing for, and responding to the human health risks of climate change. In a subsequent issue of EHP, there is a letter from Glass et al. (2009) responding to this article.

    Using systematic reviews to separate scientific from policy debate relevant to climate change

    M. Petticrew, G. McCartney. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2011) 40(5):576-578. The Copenhagen summit was to be a moment in history when the international community was to agree that climate change is the most urgent and important threat facing global health and take decisive action to prevent its worst impacts. This article argues that the scientific debate could be more clearly separated from the political debate if the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesis were to be underpinned by systematic literature review methods.

    Valuing climate change impacts on human health: Empirical evidence from the literature

    A. Markandya, A. Chiabai. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2009) 6(2):759-786. This paper critically reviews a number of studies about the costs of planned adaptation in the health context, and compares current health expenditures with Millennium Development Goals which are felt to be inadequate when considering climate change impacts. (PDF, 475.3 KB)

    Vulnerability of aboriginal health systems in Canada to climate change

    J.D. Ford et al. Global Environmental Change (2010) 20(4):668-680. Despite limited research on climate change and aboriginal health, there is a well-established literature on aboriginal health outcomes, determinants, and trends in Canada, characteristics that will determine vulnerability to climate change. In this paper, the authors systematically review this literature, using a vulnerability framework to identify the broad-level factors constraining adaptive capacity and increasing sensitivity to climate change.

    Vulnerable populations in the Arctic

    B. Evengard, ed. Global Health Action (2011) 4. This volume is a compilation of research-based evidence that highlights the effects of climate change on human health and living conditions in the arctic region. While emphasizing the need for more research on the subject, it also discusses what can and should be done to strengthen the capacities of societies to manage and overcome disturbances. (PDF, 2.52 MB)

    Weather extremes hint at public health impacts of climate change

    T. Zeller, Huffington Post, December 8, 2011. After a year of unprecedented destruction attributed to weather extremes, federal officials and environmental advocates are focusing increased attention on the potential health impacts of global warming, which most scientists expect to spur not just more frequent instances of extreme heat, but also increases in rainfall, drought, snow, floods, and violent storms.

    World Health Assembly 2008: Climate change and health

    A.J. McMichael et al. Lancet (2008) 371(9628):1895-1896. The health sector, in general, has been slow to perceive the enormous significance of global climate change as a threat to Earth's life-support systems, including the provision of water, food, clean air, and stable ecosystems—and, therefore, to human well-being, health, and survival.

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