Warming Oceans, Coastal Diseases, and Climate Change Public ...
Warming Oceans, Coastal Diseases, and Climate Change Public Health Adaptation Robin Kundis Craig James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Professor of Law University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
Climate Change, Coasts, and Communities Symposium Monmouth University April 18, 2019 Why Think About Coastal Community Adaptation to Climate Change in Terms of Public Health?
Many uncertainties surround climate changes impacts on the sea, especially sea level rise.
MOREOVER, the time scales involved are often longer than those typical in planning efforts.
A public health focus is politically salient, addresses real human needs, and can help to identify practical no regrets steps that may
benefit adaptation efforts more generally. Pfiesteria The Three Impacts of Climate Change on the Ocean Most Relevant to Changing Disease Burdens
1. Ocean Warming The Ocean as a Heat Sink Whats Loving the Heat? Vibrios! Vibrio vulnificus
Photos courtesy of the New England Journal of Medicine Vibrio parahaemolyticus And of course . . . Vibrio cholerae
Vibrio Disease along the Atlantic Ocean SOURCE: Vezulli et al.,
PNAS 2016, https://doi.org/10.1073/ pnas.1609157113 Vibrio parahaemolyticus illnesses associated with consumption of shellfish, United States, 2013
Graphic courtesy of the CDC Map courtesy of the World Health Organization Vibrio Infestions and Sea Surface
Temperature Choleras Sea Phase Copepod Carrying Cholera Bacteria Image courtesy of the National Science Foundation
Escobar et al., Acta Tropica 2015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.05.028 Warm Water Also Promotes Harmful Algal Blooms 2. Sea Level Rise
So, How Much? Sea Level Rise Projections to 2100 based on 7 Global Circulation Models (GCMs) and 3 emissions scenarios.
Graphic courtesy of NASA. What We Normally Worry About in Connection with Sea Level Rise Graphic courtesy of the San Francisco Public Press
But Inundated Coasts Tend to Increase Mosquito Habitat Malaria DeSouza et al., The Impact of Climate Change
on the Geographic Scope of Diseases (2012), DOI: 10.5772/50646 Figure 1. Climate change and malaria, scenario for 2050 (UNEP/GRID 2005). With climate conditions changing in the future, due to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
conditions for pests also change. The primary malaria agent, the falciparum malaria parasite, will be able to spread into new areas, as displayed in this map, by 2050 using the Hadley CM2 high scenario. Other areas, not displayed in the map, will be uninhabitable by the parasite. Dengue Fever
Dengue in Florida Dengue Cases in Florida, 2013 Graphic courtesy of Health News Florida
Also, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Mean More Sewage Contamination of the Coast Norovirus Hepatitis A
Cryptosporidium Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall in Florida, October 2018 Photograph courtesy of CNN
Giardia Shigella E. coli 3. Ice Melting
It Sounds Like Science Fiction, But . . . Anthrax Spores The Zombie Diseases of Climate Change, The Atlantic, November 6, 2017
So What Does a Public Health Perspective Suggest for Coastal Adaptation? Public health officials need to be part of the coastal adaptation discussion.
Adaptation planning should include future disease risk and appropriate training for medical personnel so that they can recognize the new or returning diseases when they show up. Mosquito control programs may need to be started or expanded as part of sea level rise adaptation.
Harmful algal blooms provide a significant reason to get serious about nutrient pollution control. Sewage exposure from storm surge suggests the need for new building codes for the coast.
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