Climate change: the public health response

Am J Public Health. 2008 Mar;98(3):435-45. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.119362. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


There is scientific consensus that the global climate is changing, with rising surface temperatures, melting ice and snow, rising sea levels, and increasing climate variability. These changes are expected to have substantial impacts on human health. There are known, effective public health responses for many of these impacts, but the scope, timeline, and complexity of climate change are unprecedented. We propose a public health approach to climate change, based on the essential public health services, that extends to both clinical and population health services and emphasizes the coordination of government agencies (federal, state, and local), academia, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Climate*
  • Government Regulation
  • Greenhouse Effect*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Public Health*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Safety