|[Guest post by NLM Outreach and Special Populations Branch]The July 2015 issue of The Nation’s Health features a cover story on the link between climate change and health, new U.S. government initiatives aimed at protecting communities from the health impacts of climate change, and the effort to reframe climate change as an urgent public health issue.“Health officials and scientists warn that a changing climate is leading to more extreme heat, poorer air quality, heavier rainfall, and more frequent and intense natural disasters — all of which have serious consequences for human health. And because children are so susceptible to environmental change, they stand to bear the brunt of climate-related disease and stress.”
The article identifies the need for government, health professionals, and people to act preventatively. It examines recent initiatives from President Barack Obama that relate to understanding, communicating and mitigating the health effects of climate change, including the April 6, 2015 White House Climate Change and Health Summit, and a new toolkit designed to help health care facilities prepare for climate change.
These initiatives are meant to help Americans understand climate change as not just an environmental issue, but also an important health issue.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides many sources of information to assist health professionals with the knowledge and resources they need to assess who is most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, and teach patients how to minimize the impacts.
The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) Arctic Health website is a central source for information on diverse aspects of the Arctic environment and the health of northern peoples. The site gives access to evaluated health information from hundreds of local, state, national, and international agencies, as well as from professional societies and universities. For example, the Arctic Health Climate Change page provides links to websites, publications, and multimedia presentations covering the impacts of climate change on the health, activities, and well-being of people in the Arctic. It includes climate-change observations from both the scientific-research and the traditional-knowledge points of view.
The SIS Environmental Health and Toxicology website features Enviro-Health Links – Climate Change and Human Health. This page provides a wealth of environmental health-related web resources from the U.S. government and other trusted sources focused on climate change and health. Resources include links to information about specific impacts on agriculture, extreme weather, general health, infectious disease, population displacement, preparedness and security, and water quality and scarcity. In addition to topic-related searches of NLM resources, the page offers overview materials, glossaries, information on law, policy, and regulation, links to blogs, news, podcasts and video, and educational material such as the NLM’s Environmental Health Student Portal.