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Exploring the impacts of climate change on health

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Exploring the impacts of climate change on health

  1. 1. Exploring the Health Effects of Climate Change Eddie Oldfield Director, NB Climate Change Hub www.nbhub.org Hosted by the New Brunswick Lung Association Thanks to NB Environmental Trust Fund
  2. 2. Temperature in recent years
  3. 3. Concentration of CO2 and Temperature Change Concentration of CO2 anticipated for the year 2100: around20 years… In 675 ppm Today Increase in average temperature anticipated for the year 2100: Concentration of CO2 between 1,4 et 5,8 C for the year 1998: 365 ppm Source of Picture: www.whitehouse.gov/ Initiatives/Climate/next100 .html
  4. 4. Greenhouse gases warm the planet Aerosols/particles can warm or coolSulphate, nitrateand organic carbonaerosols scatterenergy back tospace leading tocooling.Soot (black carbon)aerosols absorbenergy and radiateit into theatmosphere. Aerosol-cloud interactions are the greatest uncertainty.
  5. 5. Climate change and air quality are linked  They both are caused in part by burning fossil fuels  Increasing temperatures can increase air pollution  Greenhouse gases warm the planet. Some particles in the atmosphere can either warm or cool the planet Greenhouse gases Air PollutionCO2, CH4, H20, CFCs, N2O SOx NOx VOCs PM CO Toxics
  6. 6. Increased temperatures Climate Burning change Changes in precipitation andfossil fuels wind patterns Mitigation: Most measures  air pollution Biomass may  Wind patterns bring more air pollution hot days and smog SO2 More pollen and mould More air NO2 conditioners More forest fires VOCs CO Toxics
  7. 7. Climate Change Primary Impacts-Temperature and Precipitation 2100 2050Approximate temperature changesCanada (2050)/ Global (2100):Blue -1 – 0Green 1– 2/4Yellow 2/4 – 3/5Orange 3/5 – 5/7Red 5/8 – 6/10
  8. 8. 2050 2050Approximate precipitationchanges (%) Canada/Global:Orange -10/-20 – 0Light Green 0 – 10/20Mid green 10/20 – 20/40Dark Green 20/40 – 30/80
  9. 9. Climate changemay entailchange in variance,as well as a changein mean(Watson, et al 2001)
  10. 10. Predicted Climate Change Effects:Melting of polar ice capsSea level riseMore frequent and more severeweather events (flooding, drought,fire)Ecozone shiftsChanges in patterns of transmission ofinfectious diseaseIncrease in air pollutionHuman displacement and healtheffects
  11. 11. Health Effects Increased illness and death from familiar causes Increased likelihood of unfamiliar health outcomesDirect Effects: Temperature Anomaly, March 2012 From heat waves Est. Montreal (2050) increase in deaths from 70 to 240-1140. From weather disasters http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=77671 Drowning, CO poisoning, hypothermia, cardiovascular events
  12. 12. Indirect effects: Health risks from changes in food production and altered water quality and quantityMental and physical health consequences of displacement of vulnerable populationsAlterations in transmission of infectious disease Malaria, Dengue Fever, Encephalitis, Cholera, Hantavirus, Cryptosporidiosis, Lyme’s Disease, E. coli infectionIncreased illness and death from respiratory disease, due to increased air pollution, especially ground-level ozone
  13. 13. Climate Change Impacts on Air Quality andRespiratory Health Increase in ambient air pollution Increased use of air conditioners, refrigerators increases power plant demand. In regions where warm weather is carried on winds coming from industrialized locations, increasing number of warm and hot days will bring increasing number of poor air days. Temperature can affect precursors of smog, but direct connections between temperature and chemical reactions that make smog must be made with care. Atmospheric chemistry is complex.
  14. 14. The best-studied air pollutants are:Particulate matter (“fine” particles are < 2.5µ m /m3) (PM2.5)Ground-level ozone (O3)There is no safe level of exposureAcute health effects include congestion, difficulty breathing,asthma attacks, chest pains, heart attacks (PM2.5), andoccasionally death. Chronic effects also include reduced lungdevelopment, low birth weight, some evidence of cancer.Vulnerable populations are those with pre-existingrespiratory and cardiovascular illness, the very young, theelderly, and those with strenuous activities outdoors.
  15. 15. Heat AND Air PollutionThere have been an increasingnumber of instances wherepeople have died from combined Pollution Cited as Factor in French Heat Deathsimpacts of heat and air pollution. Mon September 1, 2003 01:08 PMSee Toronto Public Health Study ET By Kerstin Gehmlich PARISfor models of present and future (Reuters) - Air pollution may have been the cause of death forhealth impacts from heat and air thousands of French people who died in a heatwave that struckpollution in southern Ontario Europe this August, an environmental official said Monday. Differential and Combined Impacts of Winter and "Several hundreds or thousands Summer Weather and Air Pollution due to could have been affected. Maybe between 1,000 and 3,000," said Global Warming on Human Mortality in South-central Jean-Felix Bernard, president of Canada Frances Conseil National de lAir, an (Project Number of the Health Policy Research Program: air quality agency attached to the 6795-15-2001/4400011) Environment Ministry. Chad Shouquan Cheng Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC)—Ontario Region, EC Monica Campbell Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto
  16. 16. Study shows heat and smog are killersLast Updated Mon, 06 Jun 2005 21:34:28 EDT This study was conducted by a team of scientists from Torontos public health department, the federal government and McMaster University in Hamilton. (Pengally, 2005) It concluded that extreme heat was killing an average of 120 people a year in Toronto, 121 in Montreal, 41 in Ottawa and 37 in Windsor. The air pollution that causes smog was found to be the cause of 822 deaths a year in Toronto, 818 in Montreal, 368 in Ottawa and 258 in Windsor. The study predicted that heat-related deaths will double by 2050 and triple by 2080 because of global warming. The scientists recommended the federal government introduce a national heat warning system such as Torontos. •Listen for Air Quality and Heat Alerts •Keep cool. •Take rests. •Drink lots of water •Check on elderly or frail who live alone •Take advantage of air conditioning in public places
  17. 17. Climate change and forest fires 8 Canada Annual Area BurnedMillion hectares burned 6 Key Factors: 4 •Fuel - loading, moisture, structure etc. 2 •Ignition - human and lightning •Weather - To, precipitation 0 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 atmospheric moisture and wind; Year upper atmospheric conditions •Humans - land use, fragmentation, fire management etc. (Courtesy of Brigitte Leblon)
  18. 18. An increase in forest fires in some regionsBurning wood releases PM, carbon monoxide,polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and many othertoxinsMakes breathing difficult especially for asthmatics,reduces immune system defenses against respiratoryinfections. May cause heart attacks and long termexposure can cause cancer.
  19. 19. Heat Wave, Fires Wreak Havoc in Southeast Europe ROMANIA: July 25, 2007 BUCHAREST - Twelve Romanians died and fire-fighters, soldiers and volunteers battled wildfires across southeastern Europe on Tuesday as a persistent heat wave broke temperature records across the region. Serbia was battling 50 forest fires on what meteorologists predicted would be the hottest day of the year, with the temperature topping 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit). In Romania, the heat waves death toll rose to 30 and 19,000 people had been admitted to hospital in the regions second devastating hot spell this year. Bucharest tried to cope with sporadic power blackouts under an increased load of air conditioners and fans, but health officials were able to cancel "Code Red" emergency measures declared on Monday as they forecast easing temperatures.
  20. 20. An increase in mould growth, and possiblechanges in types of mouldUnusual patterns of precipitation, storms andflooding can result in mould growth.Exposure to mould is suspected to cause asthmain some people.Species of mould unusual in Canada have beenfound in BC forests. In a few instances this hascaused fever, aches and respiratory problems inpeople.
  21. 21. Indoor air quality and climate change considerationsMoisture issues Changes in building design for energy efficiency Changes in timing and intensity of rainfall Building on flood plains 2005- Katrina Cough Basement mould
  22. 22. An increase in certain plants and their pollenIncreased carbon dioxide in the atmosphereand increased temperatures fosters growth insome plants, such as ragweed.This can lead to an increase in frequency andseverity of asthma and allergic reactions
  23. 23. Changes in distribution of deer mice infected withHantavirusThe variant of Sin Nombre Virus (SNV) in the US andwestern Canada can cause a respiratory distresssyndrome.Changes in precipitation/drought cycles can change thepredator/prey relationships which in turn affect thedistribution of mice.
  24. 24. Warmer marine water may favour the growth of certainalgae responsible for “red tides” which can produceharmful toxinsIn Canada so far these toxins are only a problem wheningestedBut examples in Florida (Karenia brevis) show that toxinscan be carried as aerosols into the air and cause nose andthroat irritation and asthma attacks
  25. 25. MalariaUnlikely to impact Canada because of surveillanceand control systemsCertain species do cause respiratory symptom,including Plasmodium vivax which occurrednaturally in Canada until the late 1800s.
  26. 26. Possible Negative Air Quality Impacts ofCertain Actions to Mitigate Climate Change Biomass burning – Considered to be “carbon neutral” Increased energy-efficiency in buildings without proper ventilation Mould growth Increased CO2 Radon Switching from gasoline to diesel in vehicles - Diesel is more efficient but produces more air-borne toxins
  27. 27. Solutions to Mitigate Climate ChangeAND Air Pollution Unlike some solutions to reduce air pollutants that use scrubbers etc. to remove pollutants from the “ends of stacks”, carbon dioxide cannot be efficiently removed now (but sequestration technology being actively developed). Best solutions will reduce both types of pollution Efficiency measures (reduce demand and burn fossil fuels more efficiently) Switch to renewable resources, but beware of biomass burning and ethanol from food stock
  28. 28. Integrated strategies save money and have co-benefits(GHG/ Air pollutants reduced and human health costsavoided)Health benefits costs can be greater than costs ofemissions reduction (US EPA: IES Handbook: Guidance document for policymakers, technicians International version of manual for EPA’s Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP) software Air Pollution Health Benefits Assessment Model (APHEBA) users’ guide and training course. )Health cost benefits usually greater than climatechange benefits(McKinley et al 2005)
  29. 29. Placeholder slide Communicating the Health Risks of Climate Change Reference CCHO, Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/climat/index-eng.php Heat Event Public Health Alert and Response System Air Quality Health Index National Health Atlas / Portal? Heat vulnerability assessmentSource: Vescovi, 2007
  30. 30. Adapting to Possible Increases in Ambient AirPollutionPersonal actions (Efficiency measures,switching time for electricity use, lawnmowers, barbeques, reduce vehicle use)Building air filtration technologyTechnological and policy measures atgovernment and industry levelsThe new Air Quality Health Indexwww. airhealth.caGIS real-time mapping. Britain uses airquality index and forecasts to plan hospitalemergency room staff levels.
  31. 31. Modeling future air quality is difficultModeling climate changes- fairly goodPredicted changes to temperature, precipitation, humidity,windADD TO THISImpact of changes to emissionsIncreasing uncertainty / modeling of future air pollutionless accurate
  32. 32. Maps Can Help Us Make the Links Heat Stress Air Quality Syndromic Surveillance Hospitalization Costs Public Health Resources Health Indicators
  33. 33. Beta WMS,EnvironmentCanada
  35. 35. OGC compliantNBLA Web Mapping Portal web-mapping application provides access tocredible, closest to source, health, population, and environmental indicators in support of decision-making
  36. 36. Quick Web Map Viewer (to consume WMS, WFS, WPS) Operations Center / Remote Participants Time series automation with time-tag in WMS
  37. 37. ARCGIS SERVER .NETThese Sample Maps Are Health Maps from PreviousGeospatial Projects (2003-2008)
  38. 38. Theme User requirements survey for National Portal, Health Canada Climate change impacts on public health (e.g. heat Events and Conferences1 6 events, air quality, extreme (e.g. calendar, weather, vector borne and announcements) transmissible diseases) Features & Functions Environmental links Links to Peer Reviewed2 Information (e.g. 7 research articles or weather, climate, journals pollution, humidity) Population health trends search and query tools links (e.g. wellness indicators, Links to data sources and (e.g. by topic, author,3 Population 8 Database models 1 location, source, content/ 6 Contact, Social Media, RSS Health trends respiratory illness in population, spatial keywords) distribution of diseases) access to experts, navigation and toolbar Best Practices: Public 2 (e.g. zoom, print or export, 7 community-of-practice links Links to research or upload/download, profile) Experts members, help tools4 Best Health Adaptation; 9 practices education programs Emergency Management, offered in Canada visualization tools (e.g. upload and download Medicine, Urban Planning 3 images, graphs, charts, 8 capabilities maps) Highlights and Featured5 Vulnerable Populations 10 collaboration tools (e.g. wiki, export (e.g. data, Vulnerable Highlights publications populations Features 4 discussion forums, working 9 publications, visuals) groups, for registered users) other research tools (e.g. alerting / published research methods, 5 templates or frameworks, 10 subscription session save/retrieval, ‘favouriting’ entries, digital archival, research timeline / group calendar, citing, data services / analytics)
  39. 39. KEY DATA SOURCES Framework data – GeoBase, NTS, Public Health Agency of Canada (Map and Data Exchange) Licensed data from NB Department of Health, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Public Health Agency of Canada New Brunswick Lung Association Map Layers (community outreach programs) Heat event public health alerting – 2011 pilot in 4 cities (including Fredericton) – expanding in 2012, Health Canada Humidity, Temperature, Precipitation, Air Quality Data: Meteorological Service Canada (e.g. via WMS – Beta phase) Regional Downscale Climate Scenarios for Atlantic Canada – (e.g. future WMS & WCS) Weather (WXXM, GRIB, DBF), CCCSN http://cccsn.ca/?page=main&lang=en Air Quality Health Index – Ozone reporting / Health Index Atlantic Region Air Monitoring Sites: http://atlantic-web1.ns.ec.gc.ca/airmons/index_e.cfm (no longer available) National Air Pollutant Survey (NAPS) – Environment Canada, published in CEC Atlas National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) – Environment Canada, published in CEC Atlas MODIS – NASA: http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/dataprod/index.php Canada: Geogratis: http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/download/EO_Data/MODIS/ / http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/download/ Service New Brunswick – building the NB Shared Data Infrastructure (http://geonb.snb.ca/geonb/ viewer) NB Department of Environment: monitoring stations, flood & watershed data, water quality, EIAs Flood Modeling – useful for health outcomes related to molds / mosquito populations / West Nile Forestry Service – species distribution, health, and disease Statistics Canada – many health indicator data sets Sea Level Rise – Environment Canada
  40. 40. OTHER DATA SETS OF INTEREST Ambient Particulate Matter .5, 2.5, 10  New Brunswick Lung Association conducts studies in partnership with health authorities to determine exposure to ozone, PM, and other air pollutants  monitoring real time exposures & emissions of Particulate Matter Fleet & Traffic-related pollution Residential and Commercial radon concentrations Airborne Fungal Concentrations in Public Schools Sulfur dioxide concentration from petroleum processing plants Extreme Weather Data / Forecasts Forest Fires / Smog Alerts Geographic and temporal distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Pest / Insect Infestations Rabies
  41. 41. Population Distribution by Health Region
  42. 42.  Phone: 1-506-453-0887 Email: eoldfield@bellaliant.net