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Fifth National Climate Assessment - Read the Report

Coordinating climate and health research and applications

In 2021, USGCRP’s Interagency Crosscutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health (CCHHG) supported the global GEO Health Community of Practice in holding a global conversation on the use of Earth observations and climate information for decision-making around COVID-19, and in convening regionally focused workshops on the use of observations for health in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The GEO Health Community of Practice is a network of governments, organizations, and observers that seeks to use environmental observations to improve health decision-making, with support from NASA and NOAA.

Led by NASA and EPA, the CCHHG created a compendium of federally funded research activities focused on the human health impacts of climate change in the United States. The purpose of this product is to inform federal agency coordination of CCHHG efforts and ensure that federal research regarding climate and health is readily accessible to inform development of NCA5.

In a new paper, the CCHHG Indicators workstream conceptualized what a national integrated system of climate change and human health indicators could look like, with the goal of assembling and tracking data on climate-related risks and health outcomes that can inform risk reduction measures (Liu et al., 2021). This paper is the foundation of two new indicator projects: 1) identifying heat and health indicators for a national integrated system and 2) a case study on vibriosis (an illness caused by bacteria that are sensitive to climate conditions) as a basis for creating a national integrated system of climate and food safety indicators in collaboration with the new CCHHG workstream on Climate Change, Food Systems, and Nutrition Security.

The CCHHG’s international workstream also continues to serve as an important venue for information exchange and conferral on key whole-of-government initiatives related to climate and health, such as the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties, and the Belmont Forum’s preparations for its latest round of climate–environment–health call for proposals.