Climate change and human health: infrastructure impacts to small remote communities in the north

Int J Circumpolar Health. 2005 Dec;64(5):487-97. doi: 10.3402/ijch.v64i5.18030.


In northern regions, climate change can include changes in precipitation magnitude and frequency, reductions in sea ice extent and thickness, and climate warming and cooling. These changes can increase the frequency and severity of storms, flooding, or erosion; other changes may include drought or degradation of permafrost. Climate change can result in damage to sanitation infrastructure resulting in the spread of disease or threatening a community's ability to maintain its economy, geographic location and cultural tradition, leading to mental stress. Through monitoring of some basic indicators communities can begin to develop a response to climate change. With this information, planners, engineers, health care professionals and governments can begin to develop approaches to address the challenges related to climate change.

MeSH terms

  • Arctic Regions
  • Cold Climate
  • Greenhouse Effect*
  • Humans
  • Public Health Administration*
  • Rural Population*
  • Sanitation
  • Water Supply