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© Duncan P. Walker,, 2007
Stephen H. Linder, Ph.D.
Responding to the Challenges of Climate Disruption
Stephen H. Linder, Ph.D.
The University of Texas School of Public Health
©Nature Canada
The World Health Organization’s summary:
Global climate is warming
Warming has accelerated in the last 25 years
Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting
Extreme weather events are changing in intensity and frequency
CO2 emitted by fossil fuel combustion is a principal cause
Continued Warming could lead to abrupt changes
CC M.Tobis, 2009
Strategies for Mitigation
Federal Action
Local Action
Personal Measures
S2729 Kerry-Boxer
June 2009
November 2009
US EPA and Greenhouse Gases
of 6 GHGs
The Air Pollutant
Observed & Projected
Climate Change
Adverse health effects
Exposure mechanism
Endangerment of
public health
and welfare
Key Elements for Endangerment Analysis
(1) Amounts being emitted
by human activity
(2) Accumulation
(3) Changes in energy
(4) Observed temperature
and climatic changes
(5) Observed changes in other
climate sensitive sectors
(6) Observed changes due to
human induced buildup
(7) Future projected change
under different scenarios
(8) Projected Risks to health
society and the environment
A different kind of Technical Support Document
U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
-- 4 Assessment Reports
U.S. Climate Change Science Program
-- 21 Syntheses and Assessments
National Research Council
-- 5 Reports
A different kind of air pollution
No direct respiratory or toxic effects
No significant contribution required
Not attributable to one source
Global and regional
Time scale of several decades
A different kind of causality
Mediation by scenarios of causal sequences
No dose-response relationship
Projected effects
Prospective harm
Anticipatory action
Different kinds of health effects
Changes in air quality -- strong and clear support
Increases in temperatures -- support
Changes in extreme weather events –- clear support
Increases in vector-borne pathogens
and aeroallergens -- not primary
Susceptible populations
WHO, Figure 3.1, Climate Change and Human Health
Strategies for Adaptation
Public Education
& Risk
Monitoring Health Outcomes
WHO, Climate Change and Human Health
Google Images, 2010