Climate Change

CLIMATE CHANGE, caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, is driven by human activity. Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and black carbon are primarily responsible for the changing climate. Burning fossil fuels and clearing natural habitats for human use produce the majority of these emissions. Climate change continues to cause glacial melting in Greenland and the Antarctic, rising sea levels, increases in global mean surface temperatures, increases in extreme weather events, and changes in the abundance, distribution, and composition of species. Climate change and the above ecosystem transformations are inextricably connected; as a result, these changes and impacts mutually exacerbate each other.

Learning Objectives
L1: Summarize climatic changes over time, highlighting specific eras in human history.
L2: Describe and discuss the anthropogenic drivers of climate change.
L3: Consider strategies for climatic adaptation and mitigation with a focus on human health.
L4: Critically evaluate the purpose and effectiveness of recent global climate change policies and events, considering the roles of key stakeholders.
Teaching Resources
BBC'S Climate Change Challenge Quiz
(L2, L4) A game where you are president of the European Nations. You must tackle climate change and stay popular enough with the voters to remain in office.
→ Play the game
→ Teaching tool

Infectious Disease and Climate Change: Is Climate Change Responsible for the Spread of West Nile Virus?
This activity explores the connection between changing climate and West Nile Virus spread in the United States. Students will have the opportunity for basic data analysis, drafting policy recommendations, and designing monitoring plans. The activity and associated resources are provided by the Earth System Science Education Alliance.
→ Teaching tool

Climate Change and Disability in California, USA
On January 17, 20, the World Institute on Disability hosted a webinar on the connection between climate change and disability in California, USA. The webinar covered the basics of climate change and disability, California's climate future, disability in 2017's natural disasters, and planning for an integrated, equitable future.
→ Watch the video

Simulation Exercises Teaching Clinical Skills and Knowledge of the Health Effects of Climate Change
This resource presents eleven simulation exercises. Students are eager to learn clinical skills, and existing curricula offer a range of simulated standardized patients and other active learning exercises that could be modified to provide training on climate change.
→ Simulation

Webinar Series: Climate Change and Migration
This series includes three webinars on the relationship between climate change and migration. The first webinar looks at the connection between climate change and armed conflict. The second webinar introduces the link between climate change and migration. The third webinar assesses the progress made in addressing climate-linked displacement since the Paris agreement.
→ Watch the videos

Climate Change and Health Training Modules
This training package on climate change and health was prepared initially in 2009 and substantially revised by a group of experts in 2014. It is a product of the collaborative effort of WHO/SEARO, WHO/WPRO, and GIZ, Bonn. The training package consists of 16 standalone modules.
→ Training module

Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis
In this e-book, the Climate Reality Project explains how extreme weather events are influenced by climate change and offers ways that you can get involved in the fight for solutions.
→ E-Book

Healthy Planet, Healthy People 
A TedX Talk by Dr. Courtney Howard. For too long we've put health and the environment in different boxes. The work of our generation is to bridge the two, to understand that in fact, they belong in the same box--that planetary health defines human health--and that as we improve one, we will improve the other as well.
→ Watch the video 

Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change
This undergraduate level course will provide students with tools to identify and address real-world global environmental and urban health issues. In addition to reading and discussing subject content to assist in understanding of the issues, students will learn skills to optimize the likelihood of affecting policy change through: 1) the Health Impact Assessment framework; 2) an introduction to environmental health modeling and spatial analysis; and 3) science communication skills. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 2017.
→ Syllabus
→ Weekly Course Topics and Schedule

Ecosystem Approaches to Health Teaching Manual
A teaching manual with sample modules and associated activities for teaching about health and environmental change produced by COPEH-Canada.
→ Español 
→ Français 
→ English 
→ Read more

Climate Information for Public Health Action 
With a focus on infectious disease, hydro-meteorological disasters and nutrition, the book explores why, when and how data on the historical, current and future (from days to decades) climate can be incorporated into health decision-making.
→ E-Book

Climate Change, Community Needs, and Public Health
This undergraduate level course explores public health capacity building from the perspectives of a regulatory lawyer/economist and a medical educator/practitioner with a focus on climate change and pollution. The public health-law-medicine nexus is important for all three fields, but advances in one field often are not matched by changes in the other two fields. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spring 2016.
→ Syllabus

Climate Variability, Vulnerability, and Natural Disasters: A Study of Zika Virus in Mani, Ecuador Following the 2016 Earthquake
This research article describes an emerging epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Ecuador following the 2016 earthquake, which coincided with an exceptionally strong El Niño event. Authors hypothesize that the trigger of a natural disaster during anomalous climate conditions and underlying social vulnerabilities were force multipliers contributing to a dramatic increase in ZIKV cases post-earthquake.
→ Read more

Global Climate Change, Sustainability, and Human Health
This University of Minnesota course introduces students to a full continuum of analytical perspectives on global climate change and its documented and projected implications for human health.
→ Syllabus

Ocean Habitat and Community Ecology 
(L2, L3) After this unit, students will be able to identify the functional roles that organisms play in ocean ecosystems. Students explore and discuss the direct and indirect impacts that ocean acidification can have on species, food web dynamics, ecosystem function, and commercial resources.
→ Teaching tool

Climate Change and Health
(L2, L3) Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health podcast shares an in-depth conversation about the effects of climate change and the steps we can take to reduce the damage.
→ The podcast
→ Teaching tool

APHA Climate Change and Health Infographics
(L2) This set of 4 infographics provide a fact-based visual summary of the pathways by which climate change affects health, focusing on rising temperatures, extreme weather, air quality and vector-borne disease.
→ The Infographics

Climate Change Is Killing Us
(L2, L3) This NPR Article discusses the relationship between climate change and disease-carrying insects, in the lead up to the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France.
→ Read more

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just 1 Famine, but 4
(L2, L3, L4) In Somalia and other African countries suffering from drought and famines, lack of clean water and proper hygiene are behind massive outbreaks of communicable diseases in displaced-persons camps. Water sources that dry up in droughts cause an interlocking cycle of death more and more arrive at camps; clean water is much more important for food than survival.
→ Read more

The Story of Solutions 
(L1, L2, L3) This short video explores the role of local advocacy and game-changing solutions when we think about global pollution and climate change.
→ Watch the video

Biogeochemical Cycles E-Textbook
(L1, L3) This beautiful E-Textbook explores the background and basic information about biogeochemical flows and is broken into comprehensive sections.
→ E-Textbook


Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 120 dedicated universities, NGOs, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to advancing planetary health.
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