Climate change is one of the most significant and growing challenges to the long-term health of people worldwide.
With rising global temperatures and sea levels, deforestation, decreased agricultural yields, and increased natural disaster risks, climate change increasingly threatens the pillars of human health: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the shelters we call home, and the land on which we live.
Yet, despite strong evidence that climate change will profoundly affect people’s health in the years ahead, the specific mechanisms driving this relationship are understudied. More cross-disciplinary research and collaboration are needed to inform policy that addresses climate-related threats to health and healthcare systems, especially as the window of opportunity to reverse the most harmful effects of climate change dwindles to a close.
In this video, IHPI members discuss their recent and ongoing work examining climate change-related health impacts.
About the Featured Experts
Sue Anne Bell: The Long-Term Effects of Climate-Related Disasters on Healthcare Resources and Vulnerable Populations
Shifts in global temperature and precipitation patterns due to climate change can influence the intensity and frequency of extreme environmental events, including hurricanes, forest fires, heat waves, floods, droughts, and storms. Sue Anne Bell, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAAN, assistant professor at the School of Nursing and a nationally-recognized disaster management advisor, examines how such disasters not only cause an immediate loss of life but have long-term downstream effects on health services for older adults and other vulnerable populations.
- Policy Brief: The health impacts of weather and climate-related disasters on older adults in the U.S.
- National Poll on Healthy Aging Report: Emergency Planning among Older Adults
- Informing Policy: Research from Sue Anne Bell highlighted in new National Insitute on Aging report: Protecting older adults from the effects of natural disasters and extreme weather
Carina Gronlund: The Impact of Climate-Related Temperature, Precipitation, and Pollen Increases on Midwesterners’ Health
In Michigan and the broader Midwest, climate change models are predicting more extreme heat days, precipitation, and pollen exposures. Carina Gronlund, Ph.D., M.P.H., research investigator at the Institute for Social Research, conducts work on how such climate-driven extreme heat and precipitation events have and will continue to negatively affect people in this region, especially those in underserved communities.
- A review of climate change and Michiganders’ health
- IHPI members speak on key aging-related topics as part of U-M series
Richard Hirth: The Public Health Threat Multiplier - How Climate Change Exacerbates Other Public Health Issues and Disparities
Richard Hirth, Ph.D., M.A., professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health, describes climate change as an imminent public health threat that exacerbates all other public health issues and inequities. His current work focuses on educating future leaders to research and address climate change as a public health issue.
Interested in connecting with IHPI members who conduct research at the intersection of climate change and health? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.