Friday, May 2, 2014

What does the Latest IPCC Report Say about Health Impacts from Climate Change?

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (44 page pdf, IPCC WGII AR5 Summary for Policymakers, Mar. 31, 2014)

Also discussed here: Climate Change: Health Impacts and Opportunities - A Summary and Discussion of the IPCC Working Group 2 Report (19 page pdf, The Global Climate and Health Alliance, Apr. 3, 2014)

And here: Climate change: yes, it’s getting worse fast and it matters (Dianne Saxe, Environmental Law and Litigation, Mar. 31, 2014)

And here: Global warming dials up our risks, UN report says (CBC news, Mar. 31, 2014)

 Today we review the recently released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its Working Group that deals with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. With high confidence, the report notes that climate change for the next few decades will cause existing health impacts to get worse until by the end of the century for some times of the year and some parts of the world “projected to compromise normal human activities, including growing food or working outdoors”. There are similar assessments of the risks facing other sectors of society and in various regions in other ways but clearly the
  time for action was yesterday.

 health cl change and cities  

Key Quotes:

“Until mid-century, projected climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist (very high confidence).”

“Examples include greater likelihood of injury, disease, and death due to more intense heat waves and fires (very high confidence); increased likelihood of under-nutrition resulting from diminished food production in poor regions (high confidence); risks from lost work capacity and reduced labor productivity in vulnerable populations; and increased risks from food- and water-borne diseases (very high confidence)…”

“The most effective vulnerability reduction measures for health in the near-term are programs that implement and improve basic public health measures such as provision of clean water and sanitation, secure essential health care including vaccination and child health services, increase capacity for disaster preparedness and response, and alleviate poverty (very high confidence).”

 “By 2100 for the high-emission scenario RCP8.5, the combination of high temperature and humidity in some areas for parts of the year is projected to compromise normal human activities, including growing food or working outdoors (high confidence).”

“in Australia,one study estimated that the number of “dangerously hot” and outdoor activity is hazardous, is projected to rise from the current 4-6 days per year to 33-45 days per year by 2070”

“Climate Altering Pollutants (other than CO2) do not just contribute to climate change, but also contribute to due to inhalation of these air pollutants….there is strong evidence that climate change will generally increase ozone in the US and Europe, although its impact on the largest health-relevant air pollutant, particulate matter, is highly uncertain.”

“many of the drivers of climate change (e.g. fossil fuel burning, overconsumption of meat, poorly designed cities and overdependence on motorised transport) also contribute to many health problems (e.g. obesity, diabetes, respiratory and heart disease and road deaths).”

'Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,'  
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