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Harvard University

The Health Effects of Climate Change

Harvard University via edX


Our world's climate is changing. Of the top twenty hottest years ever recorded, sixteen have occurred in the last two decades. This warming has already had a profound effect. Many feel powerless in the face of this challenge, but you can make a difference.

By looking at air quality, nutrition, infectious diseases, and human migration, this course will show you how increases in greenhouse gases impact public health. Experts working in a variety of settings will present their recommendations for responding to these challenges, and interested students will have the opportunity to learn about the research methods that measure the health effects of climate change.

Created with support from the Harvard Global Health Institute, this course will explain how climate change impacts people around the globe, but also how it directly affects you and your life. Though your riskrises with the rising global temperatures, climate change is a solvable problem, and there are things you can do to mitigate that risk.

This course is not an elegy for the planet, but a call to action. Enroll now to learn what you can do to reduce the harm caused by global warming.


Health -- The Human Face of Climate Change
In this week you'll meet the professors, get used to the edX environment, andreceive an overview of the pathways from climate change to human health outcomes. This week also includes a Climate Science Mini-Course for those who haven't studied the greenhouse effect or the effects of carbon dioxide before.

Heat & Air Quality
From here on, our coursewill be focused on answering a set of questions each week. This week: How does climate change affect heat-related illness? What does climate change have to do with air quality? What can be done to prevent heat exposure?

How does climate change impact water-borne diseases (like cholera and dysentery) and vector-borne diseases (such as malaria and dengue)? Will there be more outbreaks of water-borne diseases in a warming world? How will the range of disease vectors such as mosquitos and ticks shift with changes in temperature and rainfall?

Will we grow more crops or fewer in a hotter world? Will those crops be more nutritious, or less? What about the pests that feed on those crops? How will marine fisheries adapt to a warmer and more acidic ocean?

What happens when ambient temperatures exceed human tolerances? When storms, droughts and, extreme weather displace people - where do they go and what are the health consequences? What will happen to the inhabitants of small island states that will be wiped off the map by sea level rise?? What is it like to live as a climate refugee, both mentally and physically?

Research Methods
Climate change's impact on health can be gradual and progressive, emerging over years or even decades. How can one identify the relevant datasets to understand these emerging health impacts of climate change time series analysis? How can we address challenges of physical and temporal scale?

Responding to Climate Change
In our final week, we ask: What can nations, cities, and individuals do to respond to climate change? What are our options in terms of migration, adaptation, or even intervention? And given what we can do, what should we do?

Taught by

Aaron Bernstein


5.0 rating, based on 9 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at edX based on 84 ratings

Start your review of The Health Effects of Climate Change

  • Possible health effects of the changing climate are explored comprehensively, with plenty of links to interesting resources. While I found some details quite scary, the final few modules describe advances already made and in the pipeline, and offer hope for the future.
  • The health effects of this disruption has bring about cardiovascular disease and also increased the rate of respiratory disease,injuries and premature death related to extreme weather change .climate change can also disrupt food availability,reduce access to food and food quality. Impact,human and wild animals face the new challenges for survival because of climate change ,more frequent storm, intense drought,heard wave,rising sea levels and melting glaciers and warming ocean can directly harm the animals(destroy the place they live) and the communities where people live in
  • Kadyrkhanova Zhansaya
    Климат күннен күнге өзгеруде. Себебі адамзаттың көбеюінен
    Climate change is a long-term shift in average weather patterns caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Learn Climate Change, earn certificates with free online courses from University of Cape Town, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan and other top universities around the world. Read reviews to decide if a class is right for you.
  • Anonymous
    I want to improvement my skills and specialization.
    The use of high-tech, sophisticated equipment in the U.S. healthcare industry is evolving and expanding at an exponential pace. The need for highly skilled and well-trained technicians to maintain such equipment is growing just as quickly. The Biomedical Equipment Technology program at Central Piedmont will help meet a specific and specialized workforce development need in Mecklenburg County and beyond.
  • Dear students actually you people senior to me. So i want to use dear respectable students i am asadulllah belong to pakistan.Day by day rising in the green house gases that affect us and the enviroment around us specially in urban zones milions of vehciles producing sulfur and carbondioxide gases.Acccording to a research one tree is enough to provide oxygen four people in a year such that we may have to rise in number of tree to save our home as well .thank you
  • Anonymous
    Thanks how you're working can we be friends i know nothing shamefully and can't do anything even if i want. Hi who are you you might be working on big projects. Halloween is coming Happy Halloween my loved friend.
  • Anonymous
    This was an amazing course, it really opened my eyes to just how many aspects of global health are being/will be impacted by climate change. The material is well-paced, and there are many helpful interviews to supplement the readings. Just be warned; many of the actual graded assignments require you to purchase the certificate!
  • Apeksha Dnyandev Kharche
    It was a good course . I like to study the climate change . Nowadays it's important to study climate change of our earth .
  • Eman A Moammed
    The course contains sufficient knowledge regarding health effect of climate change. The course contains sufficient knowledge regarding health effect of climate change. The course contains sufficient knowledge regarding health effect of climate change. The course contains sufficient knowledge regarding health effect of climate change.

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