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Climate and Human Health

A new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of dire consequences if governments don't make "rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to stem global warming.

But the planet isn't the only thing at risk as temperatures rise; your health might be in danger, too. Here are six ways that climate change might affect you:

  • An increase in disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks.

  • Contaminated water sources and dangerous bacterial infections.

  • An increase in mental health issues.

  • An increase in Type 2 diabetes.

  • Respiratory problems and stroke.

  • More car crashes and fewer food inspections.

It is critical that adaptation and mitigation decisions and policies be developed with a sound basis in the best current science on climate change and its effects. There are gaps in our understanding of the relationship between climate change, the environment, and human health.

Certain adverse health effects can be minimized or avoided with sound mitigation and adaptation strategies. Strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change can prevent illness and death in people now, while also protecting the environment and health of future generations. 

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