The U.S. Global Change Research Program released The Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II on Friday. The National Climate Assessment (NCA) assesses a range of potential climate change-related impacts, with an aim to help decision makers better identify risks that could be avoided or reduced. The assessment follows Vol I, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), which was released in November 2017. Together, these reports meet the requirements of the Global Change Research Act, which mandates a quadrennial assessment of understanding of global change and its impacts on the United States.
Kristie Ebi, a University of Washington professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), was the lead author of the NCA's chapter on Human Health. A previous comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change on human health in the United States concluded that climate change exacerbates existing climate-sensitive health threats and creates new challenges, exposing more people in more places to hazardous weather and climate conditions. The new Human Health chapter builds on that assessment and considers the extent to which modifying current, or implementing new, health system responses could prepare for and manage these risks.
The NCA has been covered extensively in the press by the New York Times, BBC, NPR, Reuters, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. Ebi has been quoted by the Telegraph, CBC, and Weather.com as saying, " There's real concern about how the West will be able to manage this increasing occurrence," adding that global warming is already harming people's health, but it will only get worse. Ebi also elaborates on the role that policymakers can play in responding to climate change in a story by Bloomberg Environment.