Extreme Weather and Climate Change: Population Health and Health System Implications

Kristie L. Ebi, Jennifer Vanos, Jane W. Baldwin, Jesse E. Bell, David M. Hondula, Nicole A. Errett, Katie Hayes, Colleen E. Reid, Shubhayu Saha, June Spector, Peter Berry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

179 Scopus citations


Extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves, cyclones, and floods, are an expression of climate variability. These events and events influenced by climate change, such as wildfires, continue to cause significant human morbidity and mortality and adversely affect mental health and well-being. Although adverse health impacts from extreme events declined over the past few decades, climate change and more people moving into harm's way could alter this trend. Long-term changes to Earth's energy balance are increasing the frequency and intensity of many extreme events and the probability of compound events, with trends projected to accelerate under certain greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. While most of these events cannot be completely avoided, many of the health risks could be prevented through building climate-resilient health systems with improved risk reduction, preparation, response, and recovery. Conducting vulnerability and adaptation assessments and developing health system adaptation plans can identify priority actions to effectively reduce risks, such as disaster risk management and more resilient infrastructure. The risks are urgent, so action is needed now.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Public Health
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc.
Number of pages23
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Public Health
ISSN (Print)0163-7525
ISSN (Electronic)1545-2093


  • climate change
  • climate variability
  • extreme events
  • health systems
  • population health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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