Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Attributing Human Health Outcomes to Climate Change: A Systematic Review

Poster Number

31

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

"Climate Change", "Attribution", "Extreme Weather", "Health Outcomes"

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Objective: A systematic review to examine the attribution of negative health outcomes to extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Background: Humans have experienced, and survived, extreme weather events for as long as they have walked on Earth. Over the last few decades, those events have become more frequent and more severe; this increase in intensity is due largely in part to anthropogenic climate change. Although climate scientists were previously unable to attribute any single weather event directly to climate change, this is no longer the case as the scientific evidence has continued to expand. Now, quantitative statements about how human-induced climate change has impacted the frequency and severity of extreme weather events are possible, and the field of studying the effects is known as “attribution science.”

Methods: We followed the Navigation Guide systematic review method and Johnson et al. (2014) protocol to investigate attribution. We included articles published within the last 10 years directly addressing attribution of human health outcomes to climate change. We evaluated the strength of evidence provided in each selected study and analyzed potential risk biases based on the Navigation Guide’s recommended scale.

Results to Date: Four studies met our predetermined inclusion criteria during the preliminary search. We concluded that, although the bias domains were dissimilar from those in Johnson et al. (2014), the overall risk of bias across studies was low, and there is ample evidence to support action.

Conclusion: The findings of these studies indicate that anthropogenic climate change has led to increased mortality during extreme weather events, particularly extreme heat events. More studies, and standardized methods, are needed to address attributable mortality for other extreme weather events.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Attributing Human Health Outcomes to Climate Change: A Systematic Review

Objective: A systematic review to examine the attribution of negative health outcomes to extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Background: Humans have experienced, and survived, extreme weather events for as long as they have walked on Earth. Over the last few decades, those events have become more frequent and more severe; this increase in intensity is due largely in part to anthropogenic climate change. Although climate scientists were previously unable to attribute any single weather event directly to climate change, this is no longer the case as the scientific evidence has continued to expand. Now, quantitative statements about how human-induced climate change has impacted the frequency and severity of extreme weather events are possible, and the field of studying the effects is known as “attribution science.”

Methods: We followed the Navigation Guide systematic review method and Johnson et al. (2014) protocol to investigate attribution. We included articles published within the last 10 years directly addressing attribution of human health outcomes to climate change. We evaluated the strength of evidence provided in each selected study and analyzed potential risk biases based on the Navigation Guide’s recommended scale.

Results to Date: Four studies met our predetermined inclusion criteria during the preliminary search. We concluded that, although the bias domains were dissimilar from those in Johnson et al. (2014), the overall risk of bias across studies was low, and there is ample evidence to support action.

Conclusion: The findings of these studies indicate that anthropogenic climate change has led to increased mortality during extreme weather events, particularly extreme heat events. More studies, and standardized methods, are needed to address attributable mortality for other extreme weather events.