Friday, October 14, 2005

Health Effects of Climate Change

". . . we can see some of the health effects that may lie ahead if the increase in very extreme weather events continues. Heat waves like the one that hit Chicago in 1995, killing some 750 people and hospitalizing thousands, have become more common. Hot, humid nights, which have become more frequent with global warming, magnify the effects. The 2003 European heat wave — involving temperatures that were 18°F (10°C) above the 30-year average, with no relief at night — killed 21,000 to 35,000 people in five countries. But even more subtle, gradual climatic changes can damage human health. During the past two decades, the prevalence of asthma in the United States has quadrupled, in part because of climaterelated factors." There's much more in this October 6, 2005 report by Dr. Paul R. Epstein (associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Boston) published in the New England Journal of Medicine. You can also hear an interview with Dr. Epstein.

(Cross posted at Coulee Progressives.)

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