Minnesota Climate and Health Profile Report

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Climate and Health Profile Report 2015, “An Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the Health & Well-Being of Minnesotans,” provides a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts and potential health implications for the state. In addition to describing climate trends and projections, the report identifies datasets and the data gaps that could affect the development of quantitative measures of health outcomes. The report concludes with a brief discussion of next steps required for an effective response to the identified public health climate hazards.

The Climate and Health Profile assessment found that climate change will elevate the risk of air pollution, extreme heat, floods, drought and ecosystem degradation in Minnesota. Specific “hazard-impact pathways” are examined in detail in the report, including:

Air pollution (ozone, particulate matter, pollen):

▪ Direct health impacts: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies and asthma

Extreme heat:

▪ Direct health impacts: mortality, heat stress, and other conditions exacerbated by heat
▪ Indirect health impacts: infrastructure failures, strain on essential services and disruption of key social networks

Floods and drought:

▪ Direct health impacts: drowning and injuries, waterborne disease, and mental stress
▪ Indirect health impacts: respiratory ailments, disruption of essential services, fiscal strain, loss of livelihood, and threat to community cohesion

Ecosystem threats:

▪ Direct health impacts: West Nile virus, Lyme disease, harmful algal blooms 


The Profile is the second major report completed by MDH’s Climate and Health Program since October, 2014. An earlier report, the Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, assessed the historic occurrence of extreme heat events, air pollution, vector-borne diseases, flooding, and drought and mapped vulnerable populations to each of the climate hazards by county.

The two reports were funded by a $238,000 federal funds grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report was a required component of a cooperative agreement with MDH and the CDC known as “Building Resilience Against Climate Effects” (BRACE). The BRACE framework was developed by CDC as an approach for state and local health departments to address health-related climate impacts.

 


 

Publication Date: February 2015

Related Organizations:

  • Minnesota Department of Health

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  • Assessment

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