Vulnerability of Human Population Health to Climate Change: state-of-knowledge and future research directions
Health effects of global climate change may include an increase in: heat-related mortality and morbidity, infectious diseases, particularly those that are vector-borne, and malnutrition and dehydration from a threatened food and water supply.
Increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation due to depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer is anticipated to result in an increased incidence of skin cancer and cataracts, as well as possibly causing immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to other diseases. Different populations, having varying levels of natural, technical and social resources, would differ in their vulnerability to the health impacts. Although some effects may be beneficial, most are expected to be adverse.
Health impacts in other parts of the world, with limited resources to react to climate change, are therefore likely to be more severe than those in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Dutch population too will experience the effects of climatic change in the form of, for example, changes in skin cancer rates, increased mortality due to increasing numbers of heatwaves and increased risk of the outbreak of certain infectious diseases. However, as many uncertainties remain, the Dutch Programming Committee has identified several areas as requiring the initiation and/or continuation of the necessary research, particularly the effects of climate change on infectious (vector) borne diseases and imrnune suppression by increased ultraviolet radiation due to ozone depletion.
|Author(s)||Martens WJM (ed.)|