Thursday, November 17, 2011

Health Costs of Climate Change-Related Disasters in the US

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, November 10, 2011

A study published in the November 2011 edition of Health Affairs is the first-of-its-kind to develop a uniform method of quantifying the associated health costs for extreme weather and disease events that are expected to be exacerbated by climate change.

The analysis spotlights six US case studies occurring between 2002 and 2009 that resulted in health costs exceeding $14 billion dollars:
  • Florida hurricanes in 2004
  • North Dakota floods in 2009
  • California heat wave in 2006 and wild fires in 2003
  • Nationwide ozone air pollution from 2000-2002
  • West Nile virus outbreaks in Louisiana in 2002 (which were tied to warmer weather and changes in precipitation patterns)
Extreme climate-change related events are projected to increase in severity and frequency. Only 13 US states currently include public health measures in their climate-change adaptation plans.

Read more here.

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