Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Changing Climate Conditions Represent an Emerging Threat to Public Health

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Changing Climate Conditions Represent an Emerging Threat to Public Health

Article excerpt

A new report released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments Program expresses concern over the effects climate change could have on public health in Michigan if climate change persists at the current rate.

The report stated that the average annual temperature has increased by 0.6°F in some parts of Michigan, and in others, the annual temperature increase is as high as 1.3°F since 1951. This has also coincided with an increase in annual average precipitation across the state, increasing by 4.5% or 1.4 in.

Based on current climate trends, health topics for concern were identified and projections were made on the implications for the next few decades. Projected conditions expect an increase in air pollution and worsening of respiratory disease. Where projected climates could favour an earlier and longer growing season for plants, increasing pollen levels could also affect allergies and asthma. Suspected heatwaves in the future, with high temperatures and humidity and stagnant air, may result in an increase in heat-related illness and death.

It is clear that extreme precipitation events have already become more frequent in Michigan. …

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