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Re: Study shows escalating climate change impacts

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 2005
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      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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