- The global surface temperature was 1.09C higher in the decade between 2011-2020 than between 1850-1900.
- The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850.
- The recent rate of sea-level rise has nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971.
- Human influence is "very likely" (90%) the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea ice.
- It is "virtually certain" that hot extremes, including heatwaves, have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe.
Each citizen needs to be cognizant of their carbon footprint and do whatever is possible to reduce their impact on our environment.
Further, we must contact Policy Makers and encourage prompt action in these areas:
- Transportation infrastructure investments that benefit health,
- Improvements to our aging water infrastructure,
- The rapid transition to non-fossil fuel-based, non-combustible renewable energy and 100% clean electricity by 2035,
- Homes, schools, and community buildings that provide safe and healthy environments,
- Investing in parks and greenspace to reduce heat and encourage physical activity, and
- Investing in a Civilian Climate Corps to help with protective resilience projects and provide jobs.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect and promote health in the era of climate change by encouraging policymakers to embrace these priorities.
Special thank you to Dr. Leon Vinci DHA, DAAS, RS
Dr. Vinci is an Environmental Epidemiologist in Roanoke, VA. As a past NEHA Executive Committee member, he has served on numerous committees and task forces for the Association. During his career, he has served as Health Officer and led environmental programs in several local health departments across the country. As a national expert Leon has presented at numerous conferences, AECs, and professional meetings as well as published widely. Leon continues to advocate for Climate & Health concerns.