Environment Health Linked to Human Health

Researchers from Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness (New York, USA) and the University of Washington (Washington, USA) reveal how climate change impacts human health – with particular impact to the US Gulf Coast, northeast, and west coast regions.  Coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to impacts of climate change due to hazards such as changing water use patterns, shoreline erosion, sea level rise and storm surge.   Public health impacts in the Gulf Coast may be severe as the region is expected to experience increases in extreme temperatures, sea level rise, and possibly fewer but more intense hurricanes. Through myriad pathways, climate change is likely to make the Gulf Coast less hospitable and more dangerous for its residents, and may prompt substantial migration from and into the region.  Submitting that their paper provides an “overview of potential public health impacts of climate variability and change on the Gulf Coast, with a focus on the region’s unique vulnerabilities, and outlines recommendations for improving the region’s ability to minimize the impacts of climate-sensitive hazards,” the study authors urge for: “Public health adaptation aimed at improving individual, public health system, and infrastructure resilience is urgently needed.”

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