Climate is the average weather in a place over a period of time. Climate change is major change in temperature, rainfall, snow, or wind patterns lasting for many years. It can be caused by natural factors or by human activities. Today climate changes are occurring at an increasingly rapid rate.
Climate change can affect our health. It can lead to
- More heat-related illness and deaths
- More pollen, mold, and air pollution. This can cause an increase in allergies, asthma, and breathing problems.
- Mosquitoes and other insects that carry diseases spreading to areas that used to be too cold for them.
- More floods and rising sea levels. This can cause an increase in contamination of food and water.
- More extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and wildfires. These can cause death, injuries, stress, and mental health problems.
Researchers are studying the best ways to lessen climate change and reduce its impact on our health.
NIH: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Study: El Nino Could Boost Lyme Disease in Western U.S. (10/24/2016, HealthDay)
- Will Worsening 'Smoke Waves' Threaten Western U.S.? (09/09/2016, HealthDay)
- Climate Change May Bring More Tainted Shellfish to Northern Seas (08/08/2016, HealthDay)
- 10 Facts on Climate Change and Health (World Health Organization)
- Changing Climate Is Affecting Agriculture in the U.S. (Department of Agriculture)
- Climate Change and Health (World Health Organization) Also in Spanish
- Climate Change Facts: Answers to Common Questions (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Climate Change: Basic Information (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Climate Impacts on Human Health (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Climate Kids (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
- Climate Literacy (U.S. Global Change Research Program)
- Greenhouse Gases (Department of Energy)
- Health Effects (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Health Effects of Climate Change (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
- Health Effects of Climate Change (Environmental Health Student Portal) (National Library of Medicine)
- Human Health (U.S. Global Change Research Program)
- What Is Climate Change? (Environmental Health Student Portal) (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Climate Change (National Institutes of Health)