Health

Sector Overview
The health impacts that can result from exposure to extreme weather events, such as heat events and coastal storms, include direct loss of life, increases in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and compromised mental health. Other related health stressors, such as air pollution, pollen, and vector-borne, water-borne and food-borne diseases, can also be influenced by weather and climate.

The CCRUN health sector team is lead by Dr. Patrick Kinney at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Phase I Highlights
Examined the heat-health risks in the context of Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

Highlighted the increasing role that public science is playing in climate resiliency planning. Basic research analyzing historically observed impacts of weather extremes on mortality and health system utilization, coupled with ensembles of downscaled climate projections has enabled projections of future risks that help to inform adaptation planning at the city scale

Learned from stakeholder interactions the importance of actionable research information for use in public health messaging, preparedness, and warning systems.

Phase II Research Plans
The health team seeks to expand beyond the heat and air quality projection work it has pioneered to date, to address the myriad health impacts of coastal storm events.

Their new reserach seeks to:
1) Strengthen the heat impact work in several important ways, taking into account lessons learned from our stakeholder interactions such as incorporating humidity along with temperature in assessing future impacts
2) Analyze historical trends in heat-health adaptation to use as knowledge to project future trends in adaptive response
3) Explore infrastructure-health linkages
4) Conduct needs assessment to improve the effectiveness of heat-health warning systems