Health professionals are not climate scientists.
But climate science is of profound importance to health professionals. Global warming is already having a significant negative impact on human health; it threatens to be an overwhelming danger to human health in the coming decades.
For this reason, health professionals – especially those working in the field of health policy and public health protection – need some understanding of climate science as a basis for their active and assertive engagement in policy debates about how we respond to global warming.
This document presents a summary and discussion of a report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the physical science of climate change. The IPCC report is the most authoritative
presentation of scientific consensus on: a) the degree to which the earth’s temperature has risen; b) the effects this is having and will have on the climate, sea level and ocean acidification; and c) the causes for the rise in temperature.
This document highlights the key issues in a digestible form for health professionals, with some additional explanatory material. All quotes come directly from the IPCC-WG1 report, unless otherwise stated.