Analyzing the Health Impacts of Climate Change
Climate change presents many challenges for human health. For example, more frequent and intense heat waves will increase illnesses and deaths – unless adaptive measures are taken. At the same time, warmer temperatures can increase concentrations of air pollutants, such as ground-level ozone, that are independently linked to risks of death and illness. Also, changes in precipitation and temperature could lead to the spread, introduction, or reestablishment of waterborne illnesses and vector-borne diseases.
Abt Associates has more than 15 years of experience analyzing these potential risks and developing information to help mitigate their impacts for clients, including federal government agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations.
Examples of our work include:
- Modeling the impacts of climate change on human health: Abt has developed and applied models to quantify changes in temperature-attributable deaths under future climate scenarios for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Researching and synthesizing information climate-related health impacts: Abt staff have served as lead and contributing authors for several seminal U.S. government assessments of climate-related health impacts. For example, Abt staff are authors on the inter-agency report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, released in 2016. Abt staff also contributed to the 2008 report Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.6: Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems.
- Developing tools and resources for mitigating health impacts: Abt staff managed the technical development and production of the EPA’s Excessive Heat Events Guidebook. This guidebook helps communities plan for and respond to excessive heat events.
Abt’s deep experience working at the intersection of climate change and health is bolstered by the firm’s exceptional capabilities and experience in other aspects of the U.S. and international health sector.
Read reports related to this work:
- U.S. Global Change Research Program - The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment
- U.S. Environmental Protection - Agency Excessive Heat Events Guidebook
- U.S. Climate Chance Science Program – Synthesis and Assessment Product 4-6: Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems
Read journal articles related to this work:
- “Climate Change Impacts on Extreme Temperature Mortality Select Metropolitan Areas in the United States.” Climatic Change, June 2014. Mills, D., J. Schwartz, M. Lee, M. Sarofim, R. Jones, M. Lawson, M. Duckworth, and L. Deck.
- “Adapting to Extreme Heat Events: Thirty Years of Lessons Learned from the Kansas City, Missouri, Extreme Heat Program.” Mills, D.M. and W.D. Snook. 2013, in Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change (S. Boulter, J. Palutikof, D.J. Karoly, and D. Guitart, eds.). Cambridge University Press, New York. pp. 53-64.
- “Winter Mortality in a Warming Climate: A Reassessment.” Climate Change 4(3):203-212. Ebi, K.L. and D. Mills. 2013.
- “An Examination of Climate Change on Extreme Heat Events and Climate – Mortality Relationships in Large U.S. Cities.” Weather, Climate, and Society 3(4):281–292. Greene, S., L.S. Kalkstein. D.M. Mills, and J. Samenow. 2011.
- “An Evaluation of the Progress in Reducing Heat-related Human Mortality in Major U.S. Cities.” Natural Hazards 56:113–129. Kalkstein, L.S., S. Greene, D.M. Mills, and J. Samenow. 2011.
- “Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and U.S. Health Impacts: What Can We Say?” Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine 51(1):26–32. Mills, D.M. 2009.
- “Climate Change and Human Health Impacts in the United States: An Update on the Results of the U.S. National Assessment.” Environmental Health Perspectives 114(9):1318–1324. Ebi, K.L., D.M. Mills, J.B. Smith, and A. Grambsch. 2006.