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Exploring climate model data

Health

Health

Climate change will have both direct and indirect effects on human health. Direct effects result from, for example, changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. Indirect effects can be felt through changes in the incidence of diseases transmitted by insects (mosquitoes and ticks) or changes in water and air quality. Plant and Animal health is also currently being tackled by the European Commission.

Climate Change Trends

WHO/Europe and the European Commission collaborated to assess current and future health risks from climate change on the European Union (EU)’s population and to identify suitable policies to address them. They established therefore the "Climate, Environment and Health Action Plan and Information System" (CEHAPIS) project in 2008.

CEHAPIS distilled from global research a concise up-to-date review of current knowledge on climate change and health impacts; proposed a range of policy options and assessed their social, environment and economic impacts; and developed a set of indicators for monitoring impacts over time.

Part of CEHAPIS was a proposal for possible health - climate change indicators, based on the following issues:

  • extreme weather events (excess heat; floods)
  • air quality (ambient air quality; air-borne pollen/allergens)
  • infectious diseases (food-borne diseases; water-borne diseases; vector-borne diseases)

Three policy areas have been identified as key to promoting action in EU Member States and protect population health. The various policy options are mutually dependent and complementary, with co-implementation producing a cumulative positive effect.

  • Integrate health into climate change adaptation and mitigation policies of other sectors
    It is important to properly include health into national adaptation strategies to ensure that an integrated cross-sectoral approach is taken to tackle the impacts of climate change, specifically the impact on health. Guidance has been developed by the WHO and there are some very good examples in EU’s Member States and their neighbouring countriess that can be shared. It is also important to assess if the proposed adaptation measures in other sectors are healthy.
     
  • Integrate climate change into public health policies and action
    This means integrating health into generic preparedness planning, increasing climate-sensitive disease surveillance, including climate change and health into health curricula, and providing green and climate-resilient health care to protecting the health of millions of EU citizens. Many of the measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have high and immediate health and economic co-benefits.
     
  • Increase health intelligence and awareness on climate change and health
    A better understanding of the risks and effects of climate change on health can reduce the burden on the health system by preventing some of the direct health effects of climate change, and motivate and facilitate both behavioural impact and societal support for actions. Bridging the knowledge gaps - through tools and specific research - and integrating health as a measure for assessing adaptation effectiveness isare important.

The key to long-term and sustainable success is a strong and coherent leadership of all EU countries in collaboration with WHO/Europe, the European Commission and collaborating agencies in the environment and health arena.

Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerabilities

Impacts on health can be listed as:

  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Food-borne and vector-borne diseases
  • Water related issues
  • Air quality
  • Air allergens
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Mental diseases
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Increased migration due to climate change

 
From the European Comission Adaptation White Paper (2009) 'Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action: Human, animal and plant health impacts of climate change'

Dengue
Reiter P. Yellow fever and dengue: a threat to Europe?. Euro Surveill. 2010;15(10):pii=19509.
Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=19509

Typical Workflow

For generic workflow information see this section. See also the Use Case below.

Use Case

Here are some selected IS-ENES National Use Cases regarding Health:

  • France: Scenarios for the evaluation of impacts and adaptation to climate change in France. Read more on this use case.
  • more to come soon

References

 

 

The IS-ENES project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.

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