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, 367 (9513), 859-69

Climate Change and Human Health: Present and Future Risks


Climate Change and Human Health: Present and Future Risks

Anthony J McMichael et al. Lancet.

Erratum in

  • Lancet. 2006 Sep 2;368(9538):842


There is near unanimous scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity will change Earth's climate. The recent (globally averaged) warming by 0.5 degrees C is partly attributable to such anthropogenic emissions. Climate change will affect human health in many ways-mostly adversely. Here, we summarise the epidemiological evidence of how climate variations and trends affect various health outcomes. We assess the little evidence there is that recent global warming has already affected some health outcomes. We review the published estimates of future health effects of climate change over coming decades. Research so far has mostly focused on thermal stress, extreme weather events, and infectious diseases, with some attention to estimates of future regional food yields and hunger prevalence. An emerging broader approach addresses a wider spectrum of health risks due to the social, demographic, and economic disruptions of climate change. Evidence and anticipation of adverse health effects will strengthen the case for pre-emptive policies, and will also guide priorities for planned adaptive strategies.

Comment in

  • Climate change and health.
    Derbyshire SW. Derbyshire SW. Lancet. 2006 Jun 17;367(9527):1976; author reply 1976-7. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68873-9. Lancet. 2006. PMID: 16782477 No abstract available.
  • Climate change and health.
    Kennedy A. Kennedy A. Lancet. 2006 Jun 17;367(9527):1977. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68875-2. Lancet. 2006. PMID: 16782480 No abstract available.
  • Global warming could affect outpatient attendance.
    Linthorst GE, de Metz J. Linthorst GE, et al. Lancet. 2008 Feb 9;371(9611):474. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60234-2. Lancet. 2008. PMID: 18262038 No abstract available.

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