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Climate Change and Global Health Øjvind Lidegaard Professor Dept. Obstetrics & Gynaecology Rigshospitalet University of Copenhagen.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Global Health Øjvind Lidegaard Professor Dept. Obstetrics & Gynaecology Rigshospitalet University of Copenhagen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change and Global Health Øjvind Lidegaard Professor Dept. Obstetrics & Gynaecology Rigshospitalet University of Copenhagen

2 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Aim is to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions… “…at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

3 Climate change and global health Four steps Realize how profound the anthropogenic climate changes are Understand the impact of these changes on global health Take advantage of the different roles we have as health professionals Act

4 Earth development 4,600 My My before present First life Life on land 0 IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis

5 Earth development 4,600 My My before present trees fish 3000 First life300 first ice reptiles dinosaurs mammals flowers 500 Life on land 50 ice again 0 0 Deep ocean drills IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis

6 Earth development 4,600 My My 1000 years trees fish First life300 first ice reptiles500Homo erectus dinosaurs mammals flowers Life on land 50 ice again100Homo sapiens Deep ocean drills IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis Ice cores

7 CO 2 in atmosphere through last 400 My ppm Ice present My Dinosaurs Reptiles Flowers Mammals Fish Trees Extinction event MesozoicCenozoicPaleozoic Era EonP h a n e r o z o i c Ice present

8 CO 2 in atmosphere through last 50 My ppm IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis My Development in mammals Paleogene period (65-23 My BP)Neogene (23 My - now) C E N O Z O I C E R A Kænozoikum Antarctic glaciation Ice free world Sea level 80 m above present

9 Paleogene (35 My BP)

10 CO 2 in atmosphere through last 50 My ppm IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis My Development in mammals Paleogene period (65-23 My BP)Neogene (23 My - now) C E N O Z O I C E R A Kænozoikum Antarctic glaciation Ice free world Sea level 80 m above present

11 CO 2 in atmosphere through last 5 My ppm IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis My Pliocene epoch ( My BP)Pleistocene ( ) N E O G E N E P E R I O D Last time CO 2 was at the same high as today. At that time sea level was m above present level, and Tp. was 3.5 o C higher

12 Pliocene (4 My BP)

13 CO 2 in atmosphere through last 5 My ppm IPCC. Assessment report 4, 2007, The Physical Science Basis My Pliocene epoch ( My BP)Pleistocene ( ) N E O G E N E P E R I O D Last time CO 2 was at the same high as today. At that time sea level was m above present level, and Tp. was 3.5 o C higher

14 5oC5oC CO2 and temperature through last 640,000 years

15 Holocene

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18 CO 2 and sea level at equilibrium CO 2 ppmSea level m Antarctic glaciation Last time CO 2 was 385 ppm Inter glacial period Last glacial period Pliocene Pleistocene Paleogene Thousand years before present At equilibrium Stabilisation of CO 2 Holocene Pre in- dustrial period

19 Climate and health Health threads by climate changes are primarily a consequence of Damages after hurricanes and cyclones Homelessness for millions after floods Climate refugees, unsustainable migration Disintegration of civil infrastructures Shortage of drinking water Starvation Expanding areas of vector-borne diseases

20 Climate and health Climate changeHealth consequence Temperature riseTainted food, infections Sea level rise, floodInjuries, infections homelessnessmental disorders, cholera More rainfall, flooddo Less rainfall,Drought, reduced agrarian yield, starvation Changed oceanDepletion of fish stocks streams New fish stocks McMichael et al. Lancet 2006; 367:

21 Commitment of health professionals Health professionals have three roles They are members of strong professional international networks such as WMA. They are professional health managers They are citizens as all other citizens What can and what should we expect from health professionals in their three roles?

22 Commitment of health professionals Professional networks Information about short- and long term health impact of climate change Stressing that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century Require immediate mitigation initiatives Initiate research in health consequences of climate change Costello et al. Lancet 2009; 373:

23 Commitment of health professionals Health advisors Information about short- and long term health impact of climate change Focusing on initiatives which improve public health and global climate at the same time (less use of fossil fuel, diet changes, physical activity) Disclose personal views on climate change Costello et al. Lancet 2009; 373:

24 Commitment of health professionals Health advisors (cont) Stress the urgency of political and personal actions Professional initiatives of establishing national networks on climate change and health Adapt your institutions to low-energy buildings Video conferences Costello et al. Lancet 2009; 373:

25 Commitment of health professionals As member of the general society Limiting long distance flights Reduce private fossil fuel consumption Reduce energy consumption (50%) Combine physical activity with personal transportation (e.g. bicycle transportation) Learn your children to behave responsible Involvement in local initiatives Costello et al. Lancet 2009; 373:

26 Which CO 2 future? 285 ppm Holocene 385 ppm Pliocene 485 ppm Paleogene

27 Thank you / slides


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