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Climate Health Threats: U.S. in Danger

Posted by Barbara Gottlieb and Sophie West on April 7, 2016

A new study of climate change has found that rising average global temperatures will lead to an increase of public health risks in the United States. These risks include increases in the incidence rates of allergies and asthma, deaths due to extreme heat, proliferation of insect-borne diseases, and mental health effects.

The United States Global Change Research Program released The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment on April 4. It builds on the 2014 National Climate Assessment but provides a more definitive description of the burdens the U.S. will face due to climate, in seven categories: heat- and cold-related death and illness; air quality impacts; extreme weather events; vector-borne diseases; water-related illnesses; worsening food safety, nutrition, and distribution; and mental health problems.

It showcases the compiled scientific data needed to link health impacts to climate change, indicates the degree of confidence behind each projection, and links health impacts to the respective populations of concern. The gravity of the report's findings underscore the urgency of reducing fossil fuel use in order to slow climate change and protect our health and a livable planet.

Check back in the coming days for more detailed blogposts on this important report. You can read the full report at health2016.globalchange.gov.

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