Methods of assessing human health vulnerability and public health adaptation to climate change

This publication provides practical information to governments, health agencies and environmental and meteorological institutions in both industrialized and developing countries on how to assess vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and change at the regional, national and local levels. Flexible methods and tools are described to achieve better understanding of the current and future vulnerability of specific populations.This will help institutions and agencies to identify appropriate and effective adaptation strategies, policies and measures.

Part I of this assessment describes the objectives and the steps for assessing vulnerability and adaptation and Part II discusses the following issues for a range of health outcomes: the evidence that climate change could affect mortality and morbidity; methods of projecting future effects; and identifying adaptation strategies, policies and measures to reduce current and future negative effects.

The health outcomes considered are: morbidity and mortality from heat and heat-waves, air pollution, floods and windstorms and food insecurity; vector-borne diseases; waterborne and food-borne diseases; and adverse health outcomes associated with stratospheric ozone depletion. Within each of these impact sections, adaptation measures, strategies, and policies are discussed.

While climate impact data is specifically for European countries or cities, the report is still highly applicable to U.S. locales.

Publication Date: 2003

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Sari Kovats
  • Kristie L. Ebi
  • Bettina Menne

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment guide


Go To Resource