What is climate change?
Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate, such as temperature, precipitation, wind, and other weather patterns. Oregon’s climate is showing signs of a shift to warmer, drier summers and wetter winters.
What are the public health impacts of climate change?
The impacts to the public’s health vary depending on geographic regions across the United States. For example, Chicago and Phoenix have seen a significant increase in heat-related illnesses and deaths. Learn more about how climate change will impact the Pacific Northwest.
What is the Health Department doing to address climate change?
Health departments are already addressing climate change in some way. We are monitoring vector-borne diseases so that we can discover a new mosquito species that might be carrying a new disease, such as dengue. We also participate in community conversations about transportation planning, food policy or outdoor air quality so that we can help improve access to local, healthy foods, consider the negative impacts on health in major transportation decisions, or collect more data about how our outdoor air quality impacts children with asthma.
Climate change is a problem we CAN solve. Because our actions are causing the problem, changes in our behavior can slow and eventually stop it. Until then, public health must be prepared to help populations adapt to the changes.