Friday, August 5, 2011

Climate Change Health Threats

Interactive Map of US

NRDC logo
~ The National Resources Defense Council has prepared a series of interactive maps detailing the projected impacts of climate change and currently planned mitigation techniques, state by state, on five axes: extreme heat, flooding, drought, air pollution, and dengue fever (due to the improved environment for disease-bearing vectors.)

See Washington State here.

There's a lot of information to dig through, although unfortunately there are many areas of the US where there is "insufficient data" to populate the map. Still, there are many things that pop out, including

  • The vulnerability of the mountain west to severe heat.
  • The smog problem in California is nearly state-wide, not just around LA.
  • The threat of increased incidence of dengue fever covers almost half of the US.
  • Drought will be an issue over the entire Puget Sound, large swaths of the mountain west and, perhaps surprisingly, much of the southeast.
  • High flood risk is also present in Puget Sound (which we have seen in recent years) but is also heavy in the rust belt and throughout New England.
Virtually nowhere in the US escapes some impacts—west, southeast, Midwest, New England, Alaska, Hawaii—all are impacted by climate change. (Except for possible drought problems Kauai doesn't look too bad, however...) The lesson? Climate change is going to affect all of us.

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