Oregon Climate and Health Profile Report
The ‘Oregon Climate and Health Profile Report’ from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division outlines the health risks that may increase with climate change, and describes the populations who are most vulnerable to these risks in Oregon. The report presents a broad, statewide assessment of public health demographic, geographic and occupational vulnerability to climate change risks.
As a participant in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative, the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division (OHA) is undertaking a climate and health adaptation planning process known as BRACE (Building Resilience Against Climate Effects). The Oregon Climate and Health Profile Report is a principal component in the BRACE framework.
An introductory section of the report compares the past climate conditions in Oregon with projections of climate change. Using patterns of temperature, precipitation and extreme events based on historical data, the report examines how these conditions might apply to three future climate scenarios. All of the climate scenarios project higher mean temperatures and slightly increased precipitation for Oregon.
Section 4 on causal pathways identifies health impacts that may result from the projected changes in Oregon’s climate - where a single causal pathway or climate impact can lead to many health outcomes. This section is organized according to eight key pathways: heat, drought, wildfire, floods and storms, sea level, allergens, infectious disease and indirect impacts.
As part of the project, an infographic was developed that can be used to help explain the health effects of climate change. Included in the report as Figure 4.1, this bold graphic displays the pathways from greenhouse gas emissions to injury, illness and death.
A general vulnerability assessment is provided also, which broadly describes populations that could be most vulnerable to health impacts from climate change. This section is organized by population group with examples of climate impacts to which they are especially vulnerable, and ways morbidity and mortality might disproportionately affect them.
Publication Date: September 25, 2014
- Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division
- Air quality
- Air temperature
- Extreme storms and hurricanes
- Precipitation changes
- Sea-level rise
- Water quality
- Water supply