Adapting to climate change: public health

The potential consequences of climate change extend to the health of the public, with warming of the planet projected to have both positive and negative consequences that will vary temporally and spatially. Climate change will not act to introduce new causes of morbidity and mortality, but to change the distributions of factors that affect the occurrence of morbidity and mortality. The time frames over which health consequences of climate change are anticipated to be manifest are both immediate and longer term and, consequently, adaptation measures could potentially reduce their impact. This paper addresses the projected health consequences of climate change, reviewing the projected adverse effects, the diverse strategies that might mitigate these effects, and the potential effectiveness of these strategies. It addresses temperature, aeroallergens and allergic disease, air pollution, and infectious diseases.