Climate Change and Human Health

Climate change describes a long-term pattern in climate measures, including temperature, precipitation (rain, snow, etc.), and other weather conditions caused by an imbalance of incoming and outgoing solar energy in the atmosphere. Maryland has begun experiencing aspects of climate change that affect human health issues. Climate change will bring new challenges in responding to these public health issues. The key points taken from the United States Global Change Research Program for the Northeast are:

  • The Northeast is experiencing warming temperatures and a large increase in the amount of rainfall measured during heavy precipitation events.
  • More frequent heat waves in the Northeast are expected to increasingly threaten human health through more heat stress and air pollution.
  • Sea level rise and more frequent heavy rains are expected to increase flooding and storm surge, threatening infrastructure.
  • As temperatures rise, agriculture will likely face reduced yields, potentially damaging livelihoods and the regional economy.

Further reading can be found at:
Climate Change and Public Health: https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/default.htm
Human Health Impacts (IPCC 2007): http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch8.html