Center for Disease Control and Prevention
“Changes occurring in the world’s climate pose significant threats to human health and wellbeing and will have even greater impacts in the future.”
“The broad environmental effects of climate change have long been discussed as long-term risks; what’s clear now is that the health effects are worse than anticipated—and that they’re already being felt.”
Jonathan Patz, Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin
“It’s so important that people recognize that climate change is about our health. There are so many pathways through which climate impacts our health.”
Public Health & Climate Change
Altered disease patterns, rampant environmental changes, and the growing intensity of natural disasters are among the few public health consequences of a changing climate. Vector-borne diseases like West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease are encroaching upon regions of the country beyond the diseases’ endemic borders.
Intense natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey are increasingly battering the coasts, and wildfires along the Pacific Coast each present clear and present risks of climate impacts. Public health officials, such as the Center for Disease Control, are devising mitigation measures, studying the disease patterns, and ensuring the affected communities receive as much help as possible.
thousand deaths per year will be attributable to climate impacts between 2030 to 2050, according to WHO
reduction in health costs from a lower emissions scenario by the end of the century
times the number of 90+°F days in NYC by 2050 under a high emission scenario
Heard Around the Country
A global crisis has shocked the world. It is causing a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave home, and leading to economic hardship not seen in many generations. Its effects are rippling across the world. Obviously, I am talking about COVID-19. But in just a few decades, the same description will fit another global crisis: climate change…
The Oregon Public Health Association and 40 other health organizations on Tuesday announced their unified front on climate action. They are recommending 10 policies in their “Call to Action” plan that would move the state closer to meeting its climate goals…
While cities like Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., have resilience officers and mapped-out strategies to protect against rising waters, North Carolina’s coast and inland areas most vulnerable to river flooding tend to be dotted with small towns that are focused on maintaining basic services…
How are climate & weather different?
Where is there scientific agreement?
How much warming has happened?
In a Flash
- Warmer weather exacerbates the risks of strokes, heart attacks, asthma attacks, and vector-borne diseases such as Zika, West Nile virus and Lyme disease
- The changing climate also heightens the intensity and frequency of weather-related disasters
- Climate change increases the public’s exposure to harmful pollutants
Sources and Citations
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Climate Change and Health: From Science to Practice. www.cdc.gov/grand-rounds/pp/2014/20141216-climate-change.html
- Foreign Affairs. Climate Change is Already Killing Us: How Our Planet is Getting Sicker and Deadlier by the Day. www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2019-09-23/climate-change-already-killing-us
- Harvard International Review. Climate Change as a Public Health Crisis. https://hir.harvard.edu/hot-topic-climate-change-as-a-public-health-crisis/
- American Public Health Association. Preparing for Health Effects of Climate Change. www.apha.org/what-is-public-health/generation-public-health/our-work/climate-change
- World Health Organization. Climate Change and Health. www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health
- National Climate Assessment. Human Health. www.nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/14/
- Banner image. U.S. Department of State.
- Fast fact image. U.S. AID.
- GeoHealth. Estimating the Health‐Related Costs of 10 Climate‐Sensitive U.S. Events During 2012. September 2019.
- WebsEdgeSociety. George Luber, Chief, Climate and Health Program, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Special thanks to Asmita Talukdar for her contributions to this page.