Federal Coordinating Lead Authors:
John M. Balbus, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
George Luber, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Chapter Lead:
Kristie L. Ebi, University of Washington
Chapter Authors:
Aparna Bole, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Ohio
Allison Crimmins, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gregory Glass, University of Florida
Shubhayu Saha, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mark M. Shimamoto, American Geophysical Union
Juli Trtanj, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Jalonne L. White-Newsome, The Kresge Foundation
Review Editor:
David D'Onofrio, Atlanta Regional Commission
Technical Contributor:
Stasia Widerynski, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
USGCRP Coordinators:
Ashley Bieniek-Tobasco, Health Program Coordinator
Sarah Zerbonne, Adaptation and Decision Science Coordinator
Natalie Bennett, Adaptation and Assessment Analyst
Christopher W. Avery, Senior Manager

Human Health


Process Description

The chapter evaluated the scientific evidence of the health risks of climate change, focusing primarily on the literature published since the cut off date (approximately fall 2015) of the U.S. Climate and Health Assessment.1 A comprehensive literature search was performed by federal contractors in December 2016 for studies published since January 1, 2014, using PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. An Excel file containing 2,477 peer-reviewed studies was provided to the author team for it to consider in this assessment. In addition to the literature review, the authors considered recommended studies submitted in comments by the public, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and federal agencies. The focus of the literature was on health risks in the United States, with limited citations from other countries providing insights into risks Americans are or will likely face with climate change. A full description of the search strategy can be found at https://www.niehs.nih.gov/CCHH_Search_Strategy_NCA4_508.pdf. The chapter authors were chosen based on their expertise in the health risks of climate change. Teleconferences were held with interested researchers and practitioners in climate change and health and with authors in other chapters of this Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4).

The U.S. Climate and Health Assessment1 did not consider adaptation or mitigation, including economic costs and benefits, so the literature cited includes research from earlier years where additional information was relevant to this assessment.

For NCA4, Air Quality was added as a report chapter. Therefore, while Key Messages in this Health chapter include consideration of threats to human health from worsened air quality, the assessment of these risks and impacts are covered in Chapter 13: Air Quality. Similarly, co-benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are covered in the Air Quality chapter.


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