Public Health and Climate

Excessive Winter Deaths. Don't Expect Reductions From Global Warming

A presumed benefit of global warming is the assumption that warmer winter temperatures might decrease excessive winter deaths (EWDs) common in temperate climates. EWDs are defined as the difference between the number of deaths in a region during winter months (December – March) and the average of the proceeding fall and subsequent spring deaths. EWDs are attributable to a number of factors including higher incidences of cardio-respiratory and infectious diseases along with colder temperatures and icy conditions that can cause hypothermia and accidental falls.

Water-related Disease and Climate

Human-induced climate change is altering precipitation patterns in most parts of the world (Stocker et al., 2013). In the future, climate change will likely exacerbate droughts (Trenberth et al., 2014; Dai, 2012) and drastically increase the likelihood of floods throughout many parts of South America, Africa and southern Asia (Hirabayashi  et al., 2013) …

Regional Climate Change Hubs. An Opportunity for Connecticut

Last month the USDA announced plans to create seven climate change “hubs” to provide outreach and training on behalf of the farm, agriculture and forestry sectors in the seven regions they serve.  The effort represents a realignment of existing government resources rather than new investment.  It’s a welcome development, and a model for other government agencies to collectively address climate change-related impacts outside the realm of agriculture.

Climate Change Changing Dengue Fever Distribution

Already endemic in over 110 countries, and with almost 50 million cases annually, dengue fever continues to spread. Incidences have increased almost 30-fold in the past 50 years. Although rarely fatal, the disease costs Latin America and the Caribbean around $2.1 billion annually. Being a vector-borne disease, it is spread by mosquitos that frequently lay their eggs in standing water that is common near households in many tropical countries. Previous research has shown that dengue fever exhibits seasonal patterns, which means that climate change might affect its spread.

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