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Bernd Eggen - Health Impacts of Climate Change


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Slides from Bernd Eggen, Health Protection agency. Presented at the third meeting of the Communicating Climate Change group, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, Truro, UK

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Bernd Eggen - Health Impacts of Climate Change

  1. 1. Climate Change & Health Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK & Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) Bernd Eggen, Principal Climate Change Scientist Air Pollution and Climate Change Group HPA Chilton
  2. 2. Contents Climate change in the UK and further afield Health Effects of Climate Change (HECC 2012) UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA)Further reading
  3. 3. Practical (?) Take on the HECC Report
  4. 4. Climate Change - Evidence Atmospheric concentration of CO2 is increasing (pre- industrial approx 280ppm, currently near 400ppm); other greenhouse gases (methane, nitrous oxide etc) have also increased. Observed changes to the Earth’s climate system include: ocean acidification increase in global surface temperatures sea level rise shrinking ice sheets & decline in Arctic sea ice cover more extreme events (heatwaves, flooding etc)
  5. 5. Greenhouse Gases at Record LevelsAccording to latest GHG Bulletin of WMO (20 Nov 2012)
  6. 6. New Minimum Arctic Sea Ice Extent 2012
  7. 7. approx 0.7ºC rise already
  8. 8. Climate & ExtremesClimate is defined as a long-term (typically 30-year) averageof weather; however, in recent years new techniques havebecome available which allow attribution of individual extremeevents (heatwaves, flooding, drought etc) to climate change.One of the first such demonstrations was for the 2003European heatwave (Stott, 2004).
  9. 9. Climate change around the globe2012: world’s 10th warmest year, 3rd warmest yearwith La Niña on record(La Niñaeventscool trop.Pacific;El Niñoeventswarm it;both haveglobalimpacts)
  10. 10. Climate change around the globe2010 was one of the warmestindividual years on record, tyingwith 2005 & 1998. Notsurprisingly, BerkeleyEarth Surface Tem-perature study (BEST)confirms findings ofUKMO, NOAA & NASA
  11. 11. Climate change in the UK2011 is second warmest year on record for the UK (after2006).2012 starts with drought in large parts of south, central andeastern England, while UK rainfall was about average(climate variability). In contrast, summer 2012 was one ofthe wettest on record.Drier than usual soils cancontribute to heatwaves insummer, as little / no evapo-rative cooling.
  12. 12. Health Effects of Climate ChangeHistory: First report published in 2001, based on UKCIP1998 projections, update of 2008 was based on UKCIP 2002projections. These projections were essentially based on asingle climate model run (for each emission scenario).The 2012 update is based on UKCP09, which areprobabilistic in nature (derived from multiple climate modelruns with slightly different parameterisations). Also newinsights into climate variability (e.g. cold winters, Arcticozone hole).URL[22 authors; approx ½ from HPA; some 240 pages]
  13. 13. Health Effects of Climate Change - TOC1 Climate change in the UK: current evidence and projections2 Temperature effects of climate change on health3 Health effects from changes in air pollution4 Changes in aeroallergens associated with pollen grains and fungal spores,and potential impacts on human health5 Health effects of climate change in the indoor environment6 Changes in UV radiation and the effects on health7 Health Impacts of Flooding, and Climate Change Adaptation8 Impact of climate change on vector-borne disease in the UK9 Water and food-borne diseases10 The health benefits of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  14. 14. Temperature effects of CC on health Heat-related mortality is predicted to increase steeply in the UK in the 21st century. We predict approximately• 68% in the 2020s• 262% in the 2050s (increases compared with the 2000s baseline)• 554% in the 2080s The South East, London, East and West Midlands, the East of England and the South West appear to be most vulnerable to current and future effects of hot weather. The elderly, particularly those over 85 years of age, are much more vulnerable to extreme heat and cold compared to younger age groups. Future risk will therefore be amplified by an aging population in the UK.
  15. 15. Mixed Messages – How to Communicate ? Green: longest cold spell Blue: average winter temperature
  16. 16. Health effects from changes in airpollution (e.g. ground level ozone)The extent of adverse health impact (deaths brought forwardand hospitalization) depends markedly on the assumption ofa threshold concentration for O3 below which there is noimpact.Under the assumption of no threshold for O3 effect, total UKdeaths brought forward increases 4% on the 2003 baselinemortality of 12,000 for the sensitivity experiment with 5°Ctemperature increase. The largest mortality increases are inLondon, South East and East England and the smallest inScotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.With a threshold for O3 impacts mortality figures are lower.
  17. 17. Changes in UVR & effects on healthClimate change may affect ambient levels of ultravioletradiation (UVR) in the UK. However, the critical factorsaffecting human exposure are lifestyle and behaviour. Ifoutdoor workers are exposed to higher levels of UVRthroughout their working lives, this is likely to increase therisk of non-melanoma skin cancers.Data from HPA’s solar monitoring sites suggest that a smallupward trend in total solar UVR reaching the Earth in theUK is slowing. However, occasional events, such asstratospheric ozone holes over the Arctic region, maycontribute to increased incidents of erythema.
  18. 18. Climate Change Risk Assessment CCRA published Jan 2012 (by Defra) CCRA reviewed evidence for 700+ potential impacts detailed analysis undertaken for 100+ of these impacts across 11 key sectors (including health) assessed for:  likelihood  scale of potential consequences  urgency for action
  19. 19. CCRASectors:1)Agriculture2)Biodiversity andEcosystem Services3)Built Environment4)Business, Industry andServices5)Energy6)Floods and CoastalErosion7)Forestry8)Health9)Marine and Fisheries10)Transport11)Water
  20. 20. CCRA – Health Chapter Study co-lead by Sotiris Vardoulakis (HPA) Focus on: Heat Cold UV Ozone Flooding and Storms(in bold with high confidence, others medium confidence, except for UV)
  21. 21. Conclusions projections of temperature effects on vulnerable people have high confidence projections on health effects of ground level ozone, pollen and other air pollutants have medium confidence extreme weather events & their effects onto physical resources and mental well being of people need significant further research while winters are gradually getting milder, there are still significant number of cold snaps analysis of existing and future climate and health data sets is a priority
  22. 22. Further reading IBooks: The Health Practitioners Guide to Climate Change: Diagnosis and Cure (2009) Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It (2011)
  23. 23. Further reading IIReports: HPA’s “Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012” via URL DH’s original report (2001) & update (2008) “Health effects of climate change in the UK” via URL CCRA report (2012), Health section (summary, full report) URL URL
  24. 24. Further reading IIIInternational Reports: IPCC’s SREX report (2012) “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” URL EEA (2012) “Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012” URL WHO & WMO (2012) “Atlas of Health and Climate” URL
  25. 25. Thank you for your attention Any questions ?
  26. 26. AMO – warm phase leading to wettersummers in Northern Europe
  27. 27. An Official American Thoracic SocietyWorkshop Report: Climate Changeand Human Health (15 Mar 2012)
  28. 28. UK Climate Impacts Programme(UKCIP)To project likely changes in future climates, complexcomputer models (GCMs) are run on powerful super-computers. Climate models are not perfect and somemeteorological processes need to be “parameterised” –different parameterisations lead to different projections.In previous climate projections for the UK, only singleprojections for a given emission scenario were available,making quantification of uncertainties difficult.In the current projections (UKCP09), multiple versions ofclimate models (with slightly different parameterisations)have been evaluated to give more confidence in the likelyrange of outcomes.
  29. 29. UKCP09 previous situation (UKCIP02) current situation (UKCP09) Probability-50% -40% -30% -20% -10% 0% +10% -50% -40% -30% -20% -10% 0% +10%2080s SE England summer rainfall 2080s SE England summer rainfall
  30. 30. UKCP09 User Interface & Outputs 100 Probability of rise being less than 90 80 70 60 cumulativeprobability probability (%) 50 40of change 30 20 of changeat a location 10 0 at a location 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Temperature rise degC joint probability of change inmaps of two variableschange ata certainprobability time series of change at different probabilities