Disaster preparedness professionals have every reason to focus on coastal impacts from climate change, particularly as the seas rise, the storms surge and the shorelines erode. Now, there are increasing signs that public health impacts from these environmental threats are concerning enough for health professionals to take heed. A new study by researchers at Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness and the University of Washington focuses on the public health implications of climate change on US coastal cities. The study underscores the reasons why health professionals ought to get involved in responding to these health impacts on their patients, particularly those of whom may face higher risks of climate change associated diseases or live in more vulnerable coastal areas. Climate for Health offers guidance on best approaches to communicate on climate and to collaborate with other health leaders.
August 14, 2015
Researchers at Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) and the University of Washington have published a new study focused on the public health implications of climate change. The article explores climate change impacts on human health in the U.S. Gulf Coast and has implications for this and other coastal regions that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The study appears in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
This new review of available data comes on the heels of President Obama's announcement of the requirement for reduced carbon emissions by the power industry as part of the Clean Power Plan. The Obama administration has fully acknowledged the human health impacts of the country's fossil fuel energy production and the immediate need to mitigate and adapt the nation's energy policies.
Climate variability and change present substantial threats to physical and mental health, and may also create social instability, potentially leading to increased conflict, violence, and widespread migration away from areas that can no longer provide sufficient food, water, and shelter for the current populations. Coastal areas, where a large proportion of U.S. residents live, are particularly vulnerable to impacts of climate change due to hazards such as changing water use patterns, shoreline erosion, sea level rise and storm surge.
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