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
- Climate Change and Health (World Health Organization) Also in Spanish
- Climate Change Indicators: Health and Society (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Climate Change: Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Climate Effects on Health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Climate Kids (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
- Climate Literacy (U.S. Global Change Research Program)
- Climate Solutions (Department of Agriculture)
- Fast Facts on Climate Change and Health (World Health Organization)
- Greenhouse Gases (Department of Energy)
- Human Health (U.S. Global Change Research Program)
- Transportation, Air Pollution, and Climate Change (Environmental Protection Agency)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Climate Change (National Institutes of Health)