IDSS Presents: 'Managing the Health Risks of Climate Change'


Kristi L. Ebi
Independent consultant and Consulting Professor
Department of Medicine, Stanford University


May 13, 2014


12–1:15 p.m. PT / 3:00–4:15 p.m. ET


RAND Corporation
1200 South Hayes Street, Suite 4000
Arlington, VA 22202

This presentation is being sponsored in conjunction with the RAND Climate Change and Health Interest Group

About the Program

Climate change is one of several global environmental changes of the 21st century that differ from other environmental risk factors in terms of their far-reaching consequences, and in terms of the complexities and interrelationships involved.

The current and projected human health risks of climate change are diverse and wide-ranging, potentially altering the burden of any health outcome sensitive to weather or climate. Climate variability and change can affect morbidity and mortality from extreme weather and climate events, and from changes in air quality arising from changing concentrations of ozone, particulate matter, or aeroallergens.

Altering weather patterns and sea level rise also may facilitate changes in the geographic range, seasonality, and incidence of selected infectious diseases in some regions, such as malaria moving into highland areas in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Changes in water availability and agricultural productivity could affect undernutrition, particularly in parts of Asia and Africa.

These health outcomes are current concerns for which international, regional, and national organizations, development partners, and civil society have policies and programs designed to manage historic risks. However, current policies and programs will, in many cases, be insufficient to manage health risks as the climate continues to change. Lessons learned from health adaptation projects in low- and middle-income countries will be used to identify promising opportunities and good practice examples to guide future adaptation efforts.

About the Speaker

Kristie L. Ebi is an independent consultant and Consulting Professor in the Department of Medicine, Stanford University who conducts research on the impacts of and adaptation to climate change, including on extreme events, thermal stress, foodborne safety and security, and vectorborne diseases. Her work focuses on understanding sources of vulnerability and designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce the risks of climate change in a multistressor environment, including identifying indicators to measure changes in resilience and effectiveness of adaptation options. She was Executive Director of the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit from 2009 -2012.

She has worked with WHO, UNDP, USAID, and others on assessing vulnerability and implementing adaptation measures in Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. She facilitated adaptation assessments for the health sector for the states of Maryland and Alaska, and was a coordinating lead author or lead author for the human health assessment for two US national assessments, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development. Dr. Ebi’s scientific training includes an M.S. in toxicology and a Ph.D. and a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology, and two years of postgraduate research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has edited fours books on aspects of climate change and has more than 140 publications.

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