Threats to Public Health from Climate Change

Confronting the Threats to Public Health from Climate Change


  • California Climate Change Policies
  • California-Specific Threats to Public Health from Climate Change
  • Increased Temperature and Extreme Weather Events
  • Higher Temperatures and Extreme Weather
  • Precipitation Changes and Extreme Events
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Food Supply
  • State’s Action on Climate Change
  • Public Health Professionals’ Perception of and Involvement in Preventive Climate Change Action
  • Areas that Require Further Research on Possible Climate Change Effects
  • Recommendations from the 2009 California Adaptation Report

earth in handsJuly 2010

By Doug Farquhar and Douglas Shinkle

Rising temperatures resulting from global climate change affect state economies, water resources, agriculture and the environment, forcing states to prioritize policy concerns. Policymakers and the general public, grappling with how to stem and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, have spent less time considering the harmful public health effects that climate change brings. California has led the nation in reducing greenhouse gases and preparing for a warmer climate, and other states have begun to study responses to increasing temperatures. But the public health threats caused by climate change, such as higher rates of infectious diseases, increased heat, water shortages, and myriad other public health threats, have not received as much attention in policy discussions on climate change.

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