Climate Change and Human Health



What kinds of climate-mediated diseases exist, and how are projected climate changes expected to alter their spread and timing? Disease is produced in a complex way, through coupled interactions between natural and human systems. Climate is a major factor controlling ecosystem variability and therefore the potential for outbreaks of certain diseases. Yet, the concept of vulnerability shows how overall disease risk depends not only on the environmental exposure, but also on the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of the group and place experiencing it. These interactions between environment and society are highlighted through a set of climate-related diseases, ranging from direct to complex relationships, including extreme heat, air pollution, aeroallergens, fungi, water- and food-borne diseases, influenza, rodent-borne diseases, and insect-borne diseases.