COS Earth Transformed logoClimate change affects human health in many ways, and a University of Arizona epidemiologist says both top-down and bottom-up actions must be taken now to mitigate current and future health threats.

At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 6), Kacey Ernst, an associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the UA’s College of Public Health, will discuss the importance of public and personal health practices in easing the health dangers posed by global warming.

Ernst’s lecture is the third of four presentations from this year’s UA College of Science series, “Earth Transformed,” originally given at the Fox Theater in downtown Tucson. The ASA’s annual encore series offers east side residents a chance to see and hear these thought-provoking lectures while avoiding a trip downtown.

Kacey Ernst
Kacey Ernst

Ernst’s April 6 ASA presentation is entitled “Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Pathways to Resilience.” She will explain how predicting the degree of impact climate change will have on a specific health outcome can be difficult, since natural and man-made factors play a part.

“A suitable natural environment is necessary but not sufficient for virus transmission,” she notes. “Social, economic, and behavioral factors can all enhance or reduce risk.”

While these factors make predictions difficult, they also suggest a level of control that we as a society have to reduce our risk of negative health outcomes linked to a changing climate.

According to one prediction from the World Health Organization: “Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.”

The remaining College of Science presentation: April 14: “Carbon Sequestration: Can We Afford It?” lecture by Kimberly Ogden.

Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer

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How Climate Change Can Affect Health: April 2016