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Study shows escalating climate change impacts

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  • Pat N self only
    Excerpt Lyme disease, the most widespread vector-borne disease, is currently increasing in North America as winters warm and ticks proliferate. The study notes
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Excerpt
      Lyme disease, the most widespread vector-borne disease, is currently increasing in North America as winters warm and ticks proliferate. The study notes that the area suitable for tick habitat will increase by 213% by the 2080s. The report also finds that ragweed pollen growth, stimulated by increasing levels of carbon dioxide, may be contributing to the rising incidence of asthma.


      ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
      Harvard Medical School 02.11.2005


      Study shows escalating climate change impacts



      The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical
      School, along with co-sponsors Swiss Re and the United Nations
      Development Programme, today released a study showing that climate
      change will significantly affect the health of humans and ecosystems
      and these impacts will have economic consequences. The study,
      entitled "Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic
      Dimensions," surveys existing and future costs associated with
      climate change and the growing potential for abrupt, widespread
      impacts. The study reports that the insurance industry will be at the
      center of this issue, absorbing risk and helping society and business
      to adapt and reduce new risks.

      "We found that impacts of climate change are likely to lead to
      ramifications that overlap in several areas including our health, our
      economy and the natural systems on which we depend," said Dr. Paul
      Epstein, the study's lead author and Associate Director of the Center
      for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. "A
      comparable event would be the aftermath of flooding, contamination
      and homelessness witnessed after Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf
      coast in August. Analysis of the potential ripple effects stemming
      from an unstable climate shows the need for more sustainable
      practices to safeguard and insure a healthy future."

      The CCF study is comprised of three primary elements: trends, case
      studies and scenarios, which detail and analyze current climate
      change related consequences for human health, ecological systems and
      the global economy. Through two potential scenarios, the CCF report
      examines possible impacts of climate change that may impose severe
      strains on the financial sector.

      "As a reinsurance company, our goal is to evaluate and plan for the
      long-term." said Jacques Dubois, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding
      Corporation. The parent company, Swiss Re, is a leading global
      reinsurance company and a co-sponsor of the study. Dubois
      continued, "Swiss Re has an ongoing effort to focus on potential
      economic impacts of climate change. This study adds to this by
      helping to review areas of increased vulnerability to climate change
      from a unique perspective. Whereas most discussions on climate change
      impacts hone in on the natural sciences, with little to no mention of
      potential economic consequences, this report provides a crucial look
      at physical and economic aspects of climate change. It also assesses
      current risks and potential business opportunities that can help
      minimize future risks."

      There are 10 case studies within the report, written by scientific
      experts, that outline current effects of climate change with regard
      to infectious diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Lyme disease
      and asthma; extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods; and
      ecosystems such as forests, agriculture, marine habitat and water.
      Economic implications as well as possible near-future impacts are
      projected for each case.

      The study shows that warming and extreme weather affect the breeding
      and range of disease vectors such as mosquitoes responsible for
      malaria, which currently kills 3,000 African children a day, and West
      Nile virus, which costs the US $500 million in 1999. Lyme disease,
      the most widespread vector-borne disease, is currently increasing in
      North America as winters warm and ticks proliferate. The study notes
      that the area suitable for tick habitat will increase by 213% by the
      2080s. The report also finds that ragweed pollen growth, stimulated
      by increasing levels of carbon dioxide, may be contributing to the
      rising incidence of asthma.

      Charles McNeill, Environment Programme Manager for the United Nations
      Development Programme, a co-sponsor of the study, pointed out that
      these costs will fall disproportionately on developing
      nations. "While developed nations are not immune to the impacts of
      climate change, those populations that are already struggling with
      myriad social challenges will bear the greatest brunt of climate
      change," said Dr. McNeill.

      Background

      The CCF project stemmed from a common concern of the Center for
      Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Swiss Re
      and the United Nations Development Programme. This concern was
      centered on the emerging threats to health from climate change and
      the implications of diseases of humans and Earth's life-support
      systems for economies and development. Unique aspects of the study
      include:

      Integration of corporate stakeholders in the assessment process
      Combined focus on physical, biological and economic impacts
      Anticipation of short-term impacts, rather than century-scaled
      projections
      Scenarios of plausible futures with gradual and step-wise change
      A framework to deal with and plan for climate-related surprise impacts
      n September 2003, a Scoping Conference for the CCF project was held
      at the United Nations in New York and involved more than 80
      participants from multiple scientific disciplines, corporations, UN
      agencies and non-governmental organizations. Through the initial
      deliberations, follow-up workshops and teleconferences, a set of case
      studies and impact scenarios was developed.

      In June 2004, a conference and Executive Roundtable were held at
      Swiss Re's Centre for Global Dialogue at R�schlikon near Zurich,
      Switzerland. This gathering expanded the reach of the project to
      include more representatives from the financial sector, allowing
      deeper exploration of the links between health, environmental and
      economic consequences of the changing climate. Risks and
      opportunities were addressed, as were policies and measures
      commensurate with the magnitude of the possible futures envisioned.

      In August 2004, a follow-up workshop was facilitated to standardize
      the methodology for the case studies and scenarios. The resulting
      study was released today at the American Museum of Natural History.

      http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/studies/report-
      51121.html

      http://tinyurl.com/czejz

      j2997
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fuelcell-energy/
    • Mike Neuman
      Media story on same study. ... Climate change will hurt people s health: study 2005-11-02 17:50:45 LOS ANGELES, Nov.1 (Xinhuanet)-- Climate change is expected
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 3, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Media story on same study.
        -----------------------------------------------
        Climate change will hurt people's health: study
        2005-11-02 17:50:45

        LOS ANGELES, Nov.1 (Xinhuanet)-- Climate change is expected to
        significantly hurt the ecosystem and people's health, and bring huge
        economic loss in the near future, according to a UN-sponsored study
        released here on Tuesday.

        The study, entitled "Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecologicaland
        Economic Dimensions," links infectious diseases such as malaria, West
        Nile virus, Lyme disease and asthma with the human-induced global
        climate change. Thus the society must pay more to cover the loss,
        said the researchers at the Harvard Medical School.

        "We found that impacts of climate change are likely to lead to
        ramifications that overlap in several areas including our health, our
        economy and the natural systems on which we depend," said Paul
        Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global
        Environment at Harvard Medical School who led the study.

        "A comparable event would be the aftermath of flooding, contamination
        and homelessness witnessed after Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf
        coast in August. Analysis of the potential ripple effects stemming
        from an unstable climate shows the need for more sustainable
        practices to safeguard and insure a healthy future," he said in a
        statement.
        Global warming and extreme weather will also favor the breeding and
        range of disease vectors, according to the study that is also
        sponsored by insurance firm Swiss Re.

        For example, Lyme disease, the most widespread vector-borne disease,
        is currently increasing in North America as winters warm.
        Mosquitoes responsible for malaria, which currently kills 3,000
        African children a day, and West Nile virus, which cost 500 million
        dollars in 1999 to curb the spread, will also expand their habitat in
        a warmer climate, according to the study.

        And ragweed pollen growth, stimulated by increasing levels of carbon
        dioxide, may be contributing to the rising incidence of asthma, which
        currently costs the US public health system 18 billion dollars per
        year.

        Stronger winds will increase the amount of dust in the air from
        expanding deserts, which compounds the effects of air pollutants and
        smog from the burning of fossil fuels and increases the risks to
        asthma sufferers.

        Extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods are expected to
        occur more frequently, and ecosystems such as forests, agriculture,
        marine habitat and water are under heavier pressure, the study said.
        Charles McNeill, environment programme manager for the UN Development
        Program, a co-sponsor of the study, pointed out that the loss caused
        by climate change will fall disproportionately on developing nations.
        "While developed nations are not immune to the impacts of climate
        change, those populations that are already struggling with myriad
        social challenges will bear the greatest brunt of climate change,"
        said Dr. McNeill.

        Large companies must lessen risks by broadening their energy palate
        from coal and oil to clean alternatives such as wind and solar power,
        and possibly, nuclear and hydrogen power, the researchers suggested
        in the study.

        http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-11/02/content_3720285.htm
        http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/studies/report-
        51121.html


        --- In ClimateArchive@yahoogroups.com, "Pat N self only" <npat1@j...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Excerpt
        > Lyme disease, the most widespread vector-borne disease, is
        currently increasing in North America as winters warm and ticks
        proliferate. The study notes that the area suitable for tick habitat
        will increase by 213% by the 2080s. The report also finds that
        ragweed pollen growth, stimulated by increasing levels of carbon
        dioxide, may be contributing to the rising incidence of asthma.
        >
        >
        > ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
        > Harvard Medical School 02.11.2005
        >
        >
        > Study shows escalating climate change impacts
        >
        >
        >
        > The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical
        > School, along with co-sponsors Swiss Re and the United Nations
        > Development Programme, today released a study showing that climate
        > change will significantly affect the health of humans and
        ecosystems
        > and these impacts will have economic consequences. The study,
        > entitled "Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic
        > Dimensions," surveys existing and future costs associated with
        > climate change and the growing potential for abrupt, widespread
        > impacts. The study reports that the insurance industry will be at
        the
        > center of this issue, absorbing risk and helping society and
        business
        > to adapt and reduce new risks.
        >
        > "We found that impacts of climate change are likely to lead to
        > ramifications that overlap in several areas including our health,
        our
        > economy and the natural systems on which we depend," said Dr. Paul
        > Epstein, the study's lead author and Associate Director of the
        Center
        > for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. "A
        > comparable event would be the aftermath of flooding, contamination
        > and homelessness witnessed after Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf
        > coast in August. Analysis of the potential ripple effects stemming
        > from an unstable climate shows the need for more sustainable
        > practices to safeguard and insure a healthy future."
        >
        > The CCF study is comprised of three primary elements: trends, case
        > studies and scenarios, which detail and analyze current climate
        > change related consequences for human health, ecological systems
        and
        > the global economy. Through two potential scenarios, the CCF report
        > examines possible impacts of climate change that may impose severe
        > strains on the financial sector.
        >
        > "As a reinsurance company, our goal is to evaluate and plan for the
        > long-term." said Jacques Dubois, Chairman of Swiss Re America
        Holding
        > Corporation. The parent company, Swiss Re, is a leading global
        > reinsurance company and a co-sponsor of the study. Dubois
        > continued, "Swiss Re has an ongoing effort to focus on potential
        > economic impacts of climate change. This study adds to this by
        > helping to review areas of increased vulnerability to climate
        change
        > from a unique perspective. Whereas most discussions on climate
        change
        > impacts hone in on the natural sciences, with little to no mention
        of
        > potential economic consequences, this report provides a crucial
        look
        > at physical and economic aspects of climate change. It also
        assesses
        > current risks and potential business opportunities that can help
        > minimize future risks."
        >
        > There are 10 case studies within the report, written by scientific
        > experts, that outline current effects of climate change with regard
        > to infectious diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Lyme
        disease
        > and asthma; extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods;
        and
        > ecosystems such as forests, agriculture, marine habitat and water.
        > Economic implications as well as possible near-future impacts are
        > projected for each case.
        >
        > The study shows that warming and extreme weather affect the
        breeding
        > and range of disease vectors such as mosquitoes responsible for
        > malaria, which currently kills 3,000 African children a day, and
        West
        > Nile virus, which costs the US $500 million in 1999. Lyme disease,
        > the most widespread vector-borne disease, is currently increasing
        in
        > North America as winters warm and ticks proliferate. The study
        notes
        > that the area suitable for tick habitat will increase by 213% by
        the
        > 2080s. The report also finds that ragweed pollen growth, stimulated
        > by increasing levels of carbon dioxide, may be contributing to the
        > rising incidence of asthma.
        >
        > Charles McNeill, Environment Programme Manager for the United
        Nations
        > Development Programme, a co-sponsor of the study, pointed out that
        > these costs will fall disproportionately on developing
        > nations. "While developed nations are not immune to the impacts of
        > climate change, those populations that are already struggling with
        > myriad social challenges will bear the greatest brunt of climate
        > change," said Dr. McNeill.
        >
        > Background
        >
        > The CCF project stemmed from a common concern of the Center for
        > Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Swiss
        Re
        > and the United Nations Development Programme. This concern was
        > centered on the emerging threats to health from climate change and
        > the implications of diseases of humans and Earth's life-support
        > systems for economies and development. Unique aspects of the study
        > include:
        >
        > Integration of corporate stakeholders in the assessment process
        > Combined focus on physical, biological and economic impacts
        > Anticipation of short-term impacts, rather than century-scaled
        > projections
        > Scenarios of plausible futures with gradual and step-wise change
        > A framework to deal with and plan for climate-related surprise
        impacts
        > n September 2003, a Scoping Conference for the CCF project was held
        > at the United Nations in New York and involved more than 80
        > participants from multiple scientific disciplines, corporations, UN
        > agencies and non-governmental organizations. Through the initial
        > deliberations, follow-up workshops and teleconferences, a set of
        case
        > studies and impact scenarios was developed.
        >
        > In June 2004, a conference and Executive Roundtable were held at
        > Swiss Re's Centre for Global Dialogue at Rüschlikon near Zurich,
        > Switzerland. This gathering expanded the reach of the project to
        > include more representatives from the financial sector, allowing
        > deeper exploration of the links between health, environmental and
        > economic consequences of the changing climate. Risks and
        > opportunities were addressed, as were policies and measures
        > commensurate with the magnitude of the possible futures envisioned.
        >
        > In August 2004, a follow-up workshop was facilitated to standardize
        > the methodology for the case studies and scenarios. The resulting
        > study was released today at the American Museum of Natural History.
        >
        > http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/studies/report-
        > 51121.html
        >
        > http://tinyurl.com/czejz
        >
        > j2997
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fuelcell-energy/
        >
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