8.4 Key future impacts and vulnerabilities
The impacts of climate change have been projected for a limited range of health determinants and outcomes for which the epidemiologic evidence base is well developed. The studies reviewed in Section 8.4.1 used quantitative and qualitative approaches to project the incidence and geographical range of health outcomes under different climate and socio-economic scenarios. Section 8.4.2 assesses the possible consequences of climate-change-related health impacts on particularly vulnerable populations and regions in the next few decades
Overall, climate change is projected to have some health benefits, including reduced cold-related mortality, reductions in some pollutant-related mortality, and restricted distribution of diseases where temperatures or rainfall exceed upper thresholds for vectors or parasites. However, the balance of impacts will be overwhelmingly negative (see Section 8.7). Most projections suggest modest changes in the burden of climate-sensitive health outcomes over the next few decades, with larger increases beginning mid-century. The balance of positive and negative health impacts will vary from one location to another and will alter over time as temperatures continue to rise.