Posted on Nov 30, 2012, 6 a.m.
Two United Nations agencies have mapped the intersection of health and climate in an age of global warming.
The United Nations (UN) has published an "Atlas of Health and Climate" that is meant to be a tool for leaders to use to get early warning of disease outbreaks. A joint project of the World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization, the Atlas maps the intersection of health and climate in an age of global warming, showing that there are spikes in meningitis when dust storms hit and outbreaks of dengue fever when hard rains come. It reports that the likelihood of increasingly frequent heat waves hitting the planet is four to 10 times as often by 2050 — and they will probably most affect the fast-growing vulnerable populations of aging and urban people particularly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Margaret Chan, the director-general of the UN health agency, comments that: “Many diseases including malaria, dengue, meningitis — just a few examples — these are what we call climate-sensitive diseases, because such climate dimensions for rainfall, humidity and temperature would influence the epidemics, the outbreaks, either directly influencing the parasites or the mosquitoes that carry them.”
"Atlas of Health and Climate"; World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization 2012; ISBN 978 92 4 156452 6.