IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability


Projected climate change-related exposures are likely to affect the health status of millions of people, particularly those with low adaptive capacity, through:

  • increases in malnutrition and consequent disorders, with implications for child growth and development;
  • increased deaths, disease and injury due to heatwaves, floods, storms, fires and droughts;
  • the increased burden of diarrhoeal disease;
  • the increased frequency of cardio-respiratory diseases due to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone related to climate change; and,
  • the altered spatial distribution of some infectious disease vectors. ** D [8.4, 8.ES, 8.2]

Climate change is expected to have some mixed effects, such as a decrease or increase in the range and transmission potential of malaria in Africa. ** D [8.4]

Studies in temperate areas[12] have shown that climate change is projected to bring some benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold exposure. Overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by the negative health effects of rising temperatures worldwide, especially in developing countries. ** D [8.4]

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. Critically important will be factors that directly shape the health of populations such as education, health care, public health initiatives and infrastructure and economic development. *** N [8.3]

More specific information is now available across the regions of the world concerning the nature of future impacts, including for some places not covered in previous assessments.

  1. ^  Studies mainly in industrialised countries.