Climate Portal

Health Threat of Climate Change

This major Lancet article says:

"Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.

Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk."

Ref: "Managing the health effects of climate change" , Anthony Costello et. al; Vol373 May16,2009


Here are three other Lancet articles on health and climate change:

Harben Lecture: Climate change and human health: impacts, vulnerability, and mitigation

A Haines, R S Kovats, D Campbell-Lendrum, C Corvalan; Vol367 June 24,2006

...Climate change may affect health through a range of pathways— eg, as a result of increased frequency and intensity of heat waves, reduction in cold-related deaths, increased floods and droughts, changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases, and effects on the risk of disasters and malnutrition. The overall balance of effects on health is likely to be negative and populations in low-income countries are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects.


Potential effect of population and climate changes on global distribution of dengue fever: an empirical model

Simon Hales, Neil de Wet, John Maindonald, Alistair Woodward; Lancet 2002; 360: 830–34. Published online August 6, 2002

Interpretation: We conclude that climate change is likely to increase the area of land with a climate suitable for dengue fever transmission, and that if no other contributing factors were to change, a large proportion of the human population would then be put at risk.


Climate change and human health: present and future risks

Anthony J McMichael, Rosalie E Woodruff, Simon Hales; Vol367 March 11, 2006

...Climate change will affect human health in many ways—mostly adversely...


HERE is the audio of a great presentation on the impacts that climate change is expected to have on our health, by

Dr. Wendy Ring, Physicians for Social Responsibility

The presentation was for a meeting of the Citizen's Climate Lobby. The slide deck CLIMATE AND YOUR HEALTH from Wendy Ring. HERE is the text of Dr. Ring's presentation:



HERE is a summary of climate impacts on public health, written by Guy Quinlan, UU-UNO Climate Advisory Group:

Climate_Public Health GQ 2011


The sidebar graphic at the top shows the likely impacts, including health, as a function of future global temperature change; see the 2007 IPCC reports.  

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(2014). Health Threat of Climate Change. Retrieved from