Widespread scientific consensus exists that the world’s climate is changing, with a majority of scientists in agreement that anthropogenic climate change is having increasingly adverse effects on human health (National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] Global Climate Change, 2018; U.S. Global Change Research Program [USGCRP], 2017). Some of these changes include rising temperatures, more variable weather, heat waves, heavy precipitation events, flooding, droughts, more intense storms, sea level rise, and air pollution. Each of these impacts is currently or has the potential to negatively affect population health. While climate change is a global issue, the effects of climate change will vary across geographical regions and populations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017a). The influence of climate change on human health appears in scientific, environmental, and public health literature, and, in more recent years, a growing discussion and advocacy for personal and professional response are present in the nursing literature. This chapter provides an overview of the influence of climate change on health, along with a selection of key findings from surveys exploring nurses’ knowledge, beliefs, and challenges in responding to climate change. A wide range of ongoing activities at various practice settings offers resources for further study and action opportunities for nurses and their healthcare partners.
Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs comprises more than 70 full-time faculty and more than 200 adjunct faculty, scholars, and practitioners. All have distinguished themselves in research and leadership in the policy world, and have produced scholarship in a wide variety of subjects, including international relations, democratization, elections, demography, and social policy.