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Climate Change and Health

The scientific community agrees that our climate is changing. In Ontario, temperatures increased by an average of 1.5°C between 1948 and 2008, and are expected to rise by as much as 3 to 8°C over the next century (1). As the entire province gets warmer, the biggest increases in temperature will happen in the north (3).

The effects of climate change on human health are already being felt in a variety of different ways. Climate change is likely to have an impact on vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease, as well as extreme weather events, natural hazards, air quality and more. All of these are connected to, or driven by, climate change.

Public Health’s Response to Climate Change
The NWHU has already started to address, manage and respond to the effects of a changing climate.The NWHU has begun the process of conducting a Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment. This assessment looks at what types of changes we should be expecting in our region and what the NWHU can do to reduce harmful effects on health. 
 
This assessment started with a workshop so that partners could have input into the process and the next steps. This workshop was recorded and can be viewed below. A summary report of the workshop can also be viewed.
Next Steps
As we continue with the process of our Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment we will use the feedback from the workshop to identify important local issues, and ways we can reduce the effects that climate change will have on people’s health. We plan to share draft report with stakeholders in spring 2019
 
1.         IPPC. Summary for Policymakers. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA; 2014. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324
2.         Gough W, Anderson V, Herod K. Ontario Climate Change and Health Modelling Study.; 2016.
3.         Colombo SJ, McKenney DW, Lawrence KM, Gray P a. Climate Change Projections for Ontario: Practical Information for Policymakers and Planners.; 2007. doi:CCRR-05