Where can i study environmental health: How Climate Change Is Challenging American Health Care


Released just days after the catastrophic fires that burned Paradise, California, were contained, The Lancet ’s paper also studies the effects of extreme weather events on health. “Since 1980, there has been a steady rise in billion-dollar weather and climate disaster in the U.S.,” the authors write, citing data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But that finding doesn’t quite capture how much more common extreme events have become, or how much their magnitude has increased in a short time. In 1984, there were two weather events that exceeded $1 billion of damage in today’s dollars, with a five-year average of about $40 billion a year in costs from extreme events. In 2017, there were 16 such events, with a five-year average north of $200 billion in annual costs. With each of those events comes both direct risks to human lives and indirect risks associated with the collapse of health-care services and the spread of infectious diseases—consequences that were already highlighted in the deaths of thousands of people in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017.

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