IPCC Projections on Health

Health: Projected climate change-related exposures are likely to affect the medical status of millions of people, particularly those with low adaptive capacity, through:


• increases in malnutrition and consequent disorders, with implications for child growth and development;

• increased deaths, disease and injury due to heat waves, floods, storms,fires and droughts;

• the increased burden of diarrhoeal disease;

• the increased frequency of cardio-respiratory diseases due to higher concentrations of ground level ozone related to climate change; and,

• the altered spatial distribution of some infectious disease vectors.

Climate change is expected to have some mixed effects, such as the decrease or increase of the range and transmission potential of malaria in Africa.

Studies in temperate areas have shown that climate change is projected to bring some benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold exposure.

Overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by the negative effects of rising temperatures world-wide, especially in developing countries.

The balance of positive and negative impacts will vary from one location to another, and will alter over time as temperatures continue to rise. Critically important will be factors that directly shape the well being of populations such as education, medical care, public disease prevention and infrastructure and economic development.

The projections above are based on the IPCC report. A separate page outlines the WHO position on the devastating effects climate change will have on human well-being, go HERE.