Climate Change Affects Health
Wednesday, March 10, 2021: 4:05 PM - 4:40 PM
Climate change is altering exposures to extreme weather and climate events; affecting atmospheric chemistry, water pollution, and ecosystems; and disrupting social and economic systems. Our health is sensitive to these shifts, with consequences for morbidity and mortality from heatwaves, floods, and droughts; infectious diseases; and cardio-respiratory diseases. Extreme heat also can affect worker productivity and pregnancy outcomes. Mental health impacts are of growing concern. Each additional unit of warming is projected to increase the burden of most climate-sensitive health outcomes. Consequences of climate change for the upstream drivers of health (e.g. food and water security) are expected to be more significant and are generally unquantified. Mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (building climate-resilient health systems) could reduce much of the projected increases, if implementation is timely and with sufficient human and financial resources. Even under optimistic projections, individuals, communities, and departments of health will have to cope with residual risks. Climate change will interact with ongoing changes in demographic patterns, urbanization, economic growth, digitization, inter alia; in most cases, acting as a stress multiplier. Failing to prepare for a very different future is preparing to fail, with consequences for our future selves and the lives of family, friends, and colleagues.
Keywords: Please select up to 4 keywords ONLY:
Environmental - Air