Climate change and human health: impacts, vulnerability and public health.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1E 7HT London, UK.
Public Health (Impact Factor: 1.48). 08/2006; 120(7):585-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.01.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is now widely accepted that climate change is occurring as a result of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere arising from the combustion of fossil fuels. Climate change may affect health through a range of pathways, for example as a result of increased frequency and intensity of heat waves, reduction in cold related deaths, increased floods and droughts, changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases and effects on the risk of disasters and malnutrition. The overall balance of effects on health is likely to be negative and populations in low-income countries are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects. The experience of the 2003 heat wave in Europe shows that high-income countries may also be adversely affected. Adaptation to climate change requires public health strategies and improved surveillance. Mitigation of climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing a number of uses of the renewable energy technologies should improve health in the near-term by reducing exposure to air pollution.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides a holistic literature review of climate change and variability in Ghana by examining the impact and projections of climate change and variability in various sectors (agricultural, health and energy) and its implication on ecology, land use, poverty and welfare. The findings suggest that there is a projected high temperature and low rainfall in the years 2020, 2050 and 2080, and desertification is estimated to be proceeding at a rate of 20,000 hectares per annum. Sea-surface temperatures will increase in Ghana’s waters and this will have drastic effects on fishery. There will be a reduction in the suitability of weather within the current cocoa-growing areas in Ghana by 2050 and an increase evapotranspiration of the cocoa trees. Furthermore, rice and rooted crops (especially cassava) production are expected to be low. Hydropower generation is also at risk and there will be an increase in the incidence rate of measles, diarrheal cases, guinea worm infestation, malaria, cholera, cerebro-spinal meningitis and other water related diseases due to the current climate projections and variability. These negative impacts of climate change and variability worsens the plight of the poor, who are mostly women and children.
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    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2014; 11:5975-5988. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This commentary critically engages with the argument that climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the twenty-first century. A review of climate-health examples suggests that although it is important to be aware of the risk that climate change presents, health status is caused and mediated by multiple exposures. The current evidence suggests the impact of climate change over the next 30 years is not going to be catastrophic for health, and positioning it as the greatest threat – instead of other important factors such as poverty and health inequalities – could obscure the potential of current global health measures and reduce focus on other health risks such as non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS. Although climate change mitigation is vitally important to reduce far-future harm, the policymaking community should focus on current interventions that reduce populations’ exposure to climate change, boost populations’ ability to adapt, and reduce health inequalities.
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Jan 14, 2015