Environment, Environmental Health, Public Health

Saving lives from extreme heat: Lessons from the deadly 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave

The 2021 heat dome was Washington’s deadliest weather disaster on record. It contributed to 441 deaths in the state between June 27 and July 3, our research shows. Medical systems were overwhelmed. There are numerous ways to avoid this deadly of an outcome in the future. Many emerge from thinking about extreme heat as long-term risk reduction, not just short-term emergency response.

Environment, Environmental Health, Global Health

Climate Crisis Is on Track to Push One-Third of Humanity Out of Its Most Livable Environment

Climate change is remapping where humans can exist on the planet. As optimum conditions shift away from the equator and toward the poles, more than 600 million people have already been stranded outside of a crucial environmental niche that scientists say best supports life. By late this century 3 to 6 billion people, or between a third and a half of humanity, could be trapped outside of that zone, facing extreme heat, food scarcity and higher death rates, unless emissions are sharply curtailed or mass migration is accommodated.

Environmental Health, Infectious Disease

Pandoravirus: the melting Arctic is releasing ancient germs – how worried should we be?

All the viruses cultured so far are far from viruses that affect mammals, let alone, humans and would be very unlikely to pose a danger to humans. A more relevant area of concern is that as the permafrost thaws it could release the bodies of long-dead people who might have died of an infectious disease and so release that infection back into the world.