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FEATURE ARTICLE

How Will Climate Change Affect Human Health?

The question poses a huge challenge to scientists. Yet the consequences of global warming for public health remain largely unexplored

Pim Martens

One hears a great deal about the ominous consequences of global warming—melting icecaps, rising sea levels, torrential floods, devastating droughts and severe harvest failures—but one scarcely hears a word about the potential effects of climate change on public health. Such changes to the earth's surface will surely affect human life, but how? The answer is not a simple one, and there may be as much good in the forecast as there is bad. For the moment, we do not know where the balance lies. Pim Martens explores some of the future possibilities and offers suggestions for a course of action.


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