Climate Change and Human Health




limate change shapes the social and environmental determinants of health, which are clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. Developing countries especially are ill-equipped to prepare for and respond to the consequences of climate change.


“Health is the human face of climate change,” said Michelle Williams, Dean of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a recent symposium on the potential health effects of climate change.


"Health is the human face of climate change."
— Michelle Williams, Dean
Harvard University
T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Wired International joins nations and organizations all over the world to raise awareness on how climate change impacts human health. Warming temperatures spur the growth of viruses and bacteria, accelerating the spread of diseases they cause. Extreme heat, natural disasters and drought are on the rise, which can lead to an increase in malnutrition and disease. In particular, climate change strongly affects chronic illnesses and infectious diseases which are transmitted through insects.


“A very recent example of this is the mosquito which spreads the Zika virus: it was traditionally found near the equator in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, but due to the changing climatic conditions, has been spreading through the Americas,” said European Union Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.


Many of WiRED’s Health Learning Center modules discuss the effects of climate change. WiRED modules on vector-borne diseases affected by climate change include malaria, chikungunya and Zika. WiRED also offers modules on bacterial, viral and parasitic infections impacted by climate change.


In his farewell speech President Barack Obama said, “Take the challenge of climate change. … [W]ithout bolder action, our children won't have time to debate the existence of climate change. They'll be busy dealing with its effects: more environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now we can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem.”





Thank you for donating to enable WiRED to continue its cost-free global health education programs.





^ Back to the Top