Overwhelming evidence shows that human activities are affecting the global climate, with serious implications for public health. Catastrophic weather events, variable climates that affect food and water supplies, new patterns of infectious disease outbreaks, and emerging diseases linked to ecosystem changes, are all associated with global warming and pose health risks.
Climate and weather already exert strong influences on health: through deaths in heat waves, and in natural disasters such as floods, as well as influencing patterns of life-threatening vector-borne diseases such as malaria.
Continuing climate change will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental determinants of health: food, air and water, according to WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries - will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.
This fact file describes current and projected effects of climate change on health.
Read the fact file on climate change and health
Climate change and human health
WHO Department of Public Health and Environment