Health risks of climate variability and change

Authored by: Kristie L. Ebi , David Hondula , Patrick Kinney , Andrew Monaghan , Cory W. Morin , Nick Ogden , Marco Springmann

Handbook of Environmental and Ecological Statistics

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781498752022
eBook ISBN: 9781315152509
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781315152509-35

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Abstract

Climate change is happening, is largely human induced, and will have serious consequences for human health (IPCC 2014). The health consequences of climate variability and change are diverse, potentially affecting the burden of a wide range of health outcomes, including illnesses and deaths related to cardiovascular and respiratory ailments, infectious and vector-borne disease, malnutrition, and poor water quality. Changing weather patterns can affect the magnitude and pattern of morbidity and mortality from extreme weather and climate events as well as from changing concentrations of ozone, particulate matter, and aeroallergens (Smith et al. 2014). Changing weather patterns and climatic shifts also may create environmental conditions that facilitate alterations in the geographic range, seasonality, and incidence of climate-sensitive infectious diseases in some regions, such as the spread of malaria into highland areas in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa (Smith et al. 2014). Changes in water availability and agricultural productivity could affect undernutrition, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia (Lloyd et al. 2011). While climate change may benefit some health outcomes in certain regions, the overall balance will be detrimental for health and well-being, especially in low- and low-middle-income countries that experience higher burdens of climate-sensitive health outcomes (Smith et al. 2014).

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