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Climate Change

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California Environmental Health Tracking Program

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Last Edited: 4/15/2014

Environmental Health Indicators of Climate Change

CEHTP participated in the State Environmental Health Indicator Collaborative (SEHIC) effort to identify environmental health indicators related to climate change.  The project identified (1) health outcomes that are sensitive to climate change and (2) characteristics that make a community susceptible to climate change.  Data on these indicators will be necessary to best (1) design, implement, and evaluate public health adaptation strategies to climate change and (2) conduct research on the health impacts of climate change



Data related to the population susceptibility and preparedness to climate change, as well as data for climate-related health outcomes, are urgently needed to develop public health adaptation strategies, evaluate their success, and project health impacts of climate change.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) established the State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative (SEHIC) in 2004.  SEHIC is a group of state-level environmental health practitioners that develops environmental public health indicators in order to monitor and evaluate the spread and distribution of environmental health risks.  In 2008, SEHIC established a working group to develop public health indicators of climate change.



The scientific literature was reviewed to identify health outcomes and governmental actions that were related to climate change.  Data were assessed for accuracy, completeness, and general usability.  A final list of indicators was presented for practitioners and policymakers.



Data exist for many climate-sensitive measures, but additional evaluation of their sensitivity and usefulness is needed.  Indicators can be divided into 5 categories:

  • Environmental indicators
  • Morbidity and mortality indicators
  • Vulnerability indicators
  • Mitigation indicators
  • Policy indicators

View complete results in the published manuscript.



  • University of Georgia, Department of Public Administration and Policy
  • Zev Ross Spatial Analysis
  • Wisconsin Division of Public Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Georgia Division of Public Health
  • Florida Department of Public Health
  • Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists



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