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

12.5.11 Human Health

Risks posed by weather extremes are the most important in terms of requiring society’s preparedness (Ebi, 2005; Hassi and Rytkönen, 2005; Menne, 2005; Menne and Ebi, 2006). Primary adaptation measures to heatwaves include the development of health early warning systems and preventive emergency plans (Garssen et al., 2005; Nogueira et al., 2005; Pirard et al., 2005). Many European countries and cities have developed such measures, especially after the summer of 2003 (Koppe et al., 2004; Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo, 2004; Menne, 2005; see also Chapter 8 Box 8.1). Other measures are aimed at the mitigation of ‘heat islands’ through urban planning, the adaptation of housing design to local climate and expanding air conditioning, shifts in work patterns and mortality monitoring (Keatinge et al., 2000; Ballester et al., 2003; Johnson et al., 2005; Marttila et al., 2005; Penning-Rowsell et al., 2005).

Principal strategies to lessen the risks of flooding include public flood warning systems, evacuations from lowlands, waterproof assembling of hospital equipment and the establishment of decision hierarchies between hospitals and administrative authorities (Ohl and Tapsell, 2000; Hajat et al., 2003; EEA, 2004b; WHO, 2004; Hedger, 2005; Marttila et al., 2005; Penning-Rowsell et al., 2005).