Health

Communicating Climate Change Health Impacts

There is overwhelming agreement from the scientific community regarding causes and impacts of climate change, while large segments of the US public still regard climate change as affecting the next generation and of low priority. Climate messaging that has focused on future increases in temperature and impacts such as rising sea levels could be aided by inclusion of direct health impacts and learn from targeted public health campaign strategies. Effectively communicating the health impacts of climate change and health…

New Metric for Comparing Nations' Vulnerability to Infectious Disease

Understanding future health risks posed by infectious diseases due to anthropogenic climate change remains an important but poorly constrained challenge. It is clear that temperature and precipitation are primary drivers that determine the spatial distribution of host and vector distributions for a variety of infectious diseases. However, a unified metric or index to evaluate the vulnerability of individual countries to changes in infectious diseases had been missing, until a recent study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health…

Land-based Strategies to Reduce Future Heat Island-related Mortality

Urban centers have been warming at double the global rate the last half-century. High daily temperatures are associated with increased mortality. Sustained increases in temperatures projected under most climate models represent a significant public health problem that may increase weather-related mortality in the United States. In a first of its kind study, Stone et al., (2014) modeled how local climate action plans that integrate land-based mitigation strategies through albedo and vegetation enhancement can mitigate future increases in heat-related mortality…

Climate Change Health Impacts: Extreme Heat, Heat Waves and Hospitalizations

Extreme heat events are anticipated to grow in number, intensity and length of duration as the effects of climate change increase over time. Increases in events such as heat waves from climate change could have large health implications on the elderly which are the most susceptible populations. Health studies of extreme heat and heat waves have focused predominantly on mortality outcomes, which may not adequately account for the burden on the US healthcare systems like Medicare…

Land-based Climate Mitigation Strategies Could Decrease Future Heat-related Mortality

Urban centers have been warming at double the global rate the last half-century. High daily temperatures are associated with increased mortality. Sustained increases in temperatures projected under most climate models represent a significant public health problem that may increase weather-related mortality in the United States. In a first of its kind study, Stone et al., (2014) modeled how local climate…

A Case Where Climate Change Reduces Infectious Disease Transmission

One of the most feared consequences of climate warming is the potential expansion of tropical infectious diseases. However, for diseases that require intermediate hosts a warmer climate and the particular dynamics of the disease can actually reduce transmission in some cases. A recent study by Paull and Johnson describes one such scenario.  The authors examined a system in which freshwater snails are intermediate hosts for trematode…

Study Shows Health Co-Benefits Justify Costs of Greenhouse Gas Reduction

A new study by Thompson et al. (2014) suggests that greenhouse gas reductions can be economically justified based on health benefits that result from associated reductions of other pollutants such as particulate matter and ozone that frequently come from the same sources.

Although this linkage has been studied for some time, the connections between policies and health and economic benefits are highly

Meteorological Influences on Lyme Disease

Over the past two decades Lyme disease has emerged as the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. It is currently endemic in at least 12 states, from Virginia in the South to Maine in the North, and Minnesota and Wisconsin in the West. The majority of cases are believed to be transmitted by nymphal ticks during late spring and early summer months of June, July, and August. Control methods currently focus on the…

Climate Impacts on Sanitation in Botswana

Worldwide, about 800 million people lack access to an improved water source. In its most basic form, an improved water supply is a well or protected spring that protects water from outside contamination. Lack of access to clean water helps explain why15% of all deaths of children under 5 worldwide are caused by diarrheal diseases. While many factors are involved, water quality and quantity…

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