Open access
Research Article
1 May 2001

Comments on the process and product of the health impacts assessment component of the national assessment of the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the United States.

Publication: Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 109, Issue suppl 2
Pages 177 - 184


In 1990 Congress formed the U.S. Global Change Research Program and required it to conduct a periodic national assessment of the potential impacts of climate variability and change on all regions and select economic/resource sectors of the United States. Between 1998 and 2000, a team of experts collaborated on a health impacts assessment that formed the basis for the first National Assessment's analysis of the potential impacts of climate on human health. The health impacts assessment was integrated across a number of health disciplines and involved a search for and qualitative expert judgment review of data on the potential links between climate events and population health. Accomplishments included identification of vulnerable populations, adaptation strategies, research needs, and data gaps. Experts, stakeholders, and the public were involved. The assessment is reported in five articles in this issue; a summary was published in the April 2000 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The assessment report will enhance understanding of ways human health might be affected by various climate-associated stresses and of the need for further empirical and predictive research. Improved understanding and communication of the significance and inevitability of uncertainties in such an assessment are critical to further research and policy development.

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Published In

Environmental Health Perspectives
Volume 109Issue suppl 2May 2001
Pages: 177 - 184
PubMed: 11359684


Published online: 1 May 2001



S M Bernard
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. [email protected]
K L Ebi
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. [email protected]

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