Report to help health sector plan for climate change

An updated report of Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK has been published which estimates the possible impacts of climate change on health.

Climate change will cause an increase in exposure to sunshine
Climate change will cause an increase in exposure to sunshine

It is hoped that the report will help the health sector effectively plan development of services. The report also highlights areas where more research is needed.

The main findings of the report include:

  • There is a one in 40 chance that by 2012 South Eastern England will have experienced a serious heatwave.
  • Periods of very cold weather will become less common - while periods of very hot weather will become more common. Winter deaths will continue to decline as the climate warms.
  • Flooding is an increasing risk.
  • Tick-borne diseases are likely to become more common in the UK, but this is more likely to be due to change in land use and leisure activities than to climate change.
  • Increased exposure to sunshine and ultra violet light will lead to an increase in skin cancers.
  • The UK population seems to be adapting to increasingly warm conditions.

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said: 'Climate change poses great challenges and it is important to plan ahead for the health consequences.'

The report is available for comment on the DoH website

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