Expert: Climate Change Has Direct Effect on Human Health

Jennifer Vanos, an assistant professor in atmospheric science at Texas Tech University, can speak directly to the effects climate change has on human health.

Pitch
The White House on Tuesday released a report on climate change and its direct effect on human health. Those areas include higher rates of asthma, allergies, injuries from extreme weather and issues with food and water supplies. The report also detailed steps companies like Microsoft and Google are taking to curb the impact of climate change on human health.

Jennifer Vanos, an assistant professor in atmospheric science at Texas Tech University, is a contributing scientist to the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center, which conducts research to address the effects of climate change in a wide array of areas across the South Central U.S. Vanos can speak directly to the effects climate change has on human health.

Expert
Jennifer Vanos, assistant professor in atmospheric science and Texas Tech Climate Science Center faculty associate, (806) 834-3319 or jennifer.vanos@ttu.edu

Talking Points

  • The reason climate change is important is not because of the polar bears or people living on South Pacific islands. It's because climate change is affecting us, right here in the places we live.
  • One of the most important ways climate change affects us is through our health. It impacts the mosquitoes that carry infectious diseases like dengue fever and West Nile virus. Heat waves make our air pollution worse and stress our energy grid. Heavy downpours affect our water quality.
  • The Climate Science Center is studying ways climate change affects West Texas to ensure we are prepared for a changing climate so our agriculture, our communities and our economy can continue to thrive.

Quotes

  • “Here at Texas Tech within our Climate Science Center, we are studying the ways climate change affects us in West Texas, to ensure that we are prepared for a changing climate to allow us to understand, communicate and reduce the health impacts of climate change on our communities through various mechanisms.”
  • “There are many threats from climate change affecting people around the world now, with the most vulnerable populations – children, elderly, sick, poor, communities of color – also being the most negatively impacted. One of the most prominent examples of how climate change is affecting us is through our health.”
  • “Our changing climate also alters where and when we can grow various crops to feed our population, alters where the mosquitoes that carry infectious diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya and West Nile virus can survive and thrive, and changes the patterns of drought and heavy precipitation, which also affect water and air quality.”

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