National Climate Assessment Health Sector Workshop: Northwest Region Report
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Climate Change and Human Health Working Group (CCHHG) convened two regional climate change and human health workshops in February 2012 as part of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) process. The workshops were supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Oceans and Human Health Initiative, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, with participant contribution of time and travel. This synthesis white paper summarizes the findings from the Northwest region workshop.
CCHHG organized the Southeast and Northwest regional workshops to help inform its contribution to the 2013 NCA. More specifically, the workshops are intended to help provide a more nuanced representation of regional climate change impacts on human health, since impacts in the health sector are place‐specific and path‐dependent. The workshops also provided an important venue for dialogue among regional climate change experts, public health experts, and other stakeholders.
The Northwest region includes Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Northwest was chosen as one of the two regions because of the enormous resources in the region (e.g., strong public health departments, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington School of Public Health, and others) and unique issues. The workshop was intended to leverage existing capacity, efforts, and discussions.
The goals of the Northwest workshop were to:
- Inform the 2013 U.S. NCA report;
- Increase the level of understanding of climate and health science in the region;
- Raise awareness of ongoing climate and health activities in the region;
- Improve tools for public health decision making by providing a forum for scientists and decision makers to share information and develop new or improve existing partnerships; and
- Serve as a pilot for how to sustain an ongoing assessment process for understanding, predicting and adapting to the human health impacts of climate change across time scales.