CPO's Juli Trtanj was a lead author for the water-related illnesses chapter of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's (USGCRP) report: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment.
The report, released on April 4, provides public health decision-makers at every level of government with more definitive and, where possible, quantitative assessments of the national burden of health impacts projected under climate change.
It is an interagency product of the USGCRP, coordinated by the Interagency Crosscutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health (CCHHG), with contributions from more than 100 federal experts, affiliates, and contractors. The report is part of the ongoing efforts of USGCRP’s sustained National Climate Assessment process and as called for under the President’s Climate Action Plan.
The assessment finds that:
Climate change is a significant threat to the health and well-being of the American people.
Current and future climate impacts expose more people in more places to public health threats.
Climate change exacerbates existing health threats and creates new challenges.
Every American is vulnerable to health impacts associated with climate change.
In recent years, our understanding of how climate change increases risks to human health has advanced significantly. Even so, our ability to evaluate, track, and project health effects varies across climate impacts
This assessment significantly advances what we know about the impacts of climate change on public health, and the confidence with which we know it.
Access the full report: health2016.globalchange.gov/
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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