Burden of Disease from Climate Change

Part of the Environmental Science and Technology Library book series (ENST, volume 24)


Expected climate change may be particularly important in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to its already hot and arid climate. Compared with other nations, the UAE has a relatively low level of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with an estimated 0.31–0.42% of global emissions since 1994. However, the UAE has one of the highest levels of GHG emissions per capita, consistently ranking second or third in the world over the past two decades. Climate change is likely to have only limited impacts on infectious and diarrheal diseases in the UAE due to relatively low baseline levels of these climate-sensitive diseases. The major impacts of climate change in the UAE are expected to be increased heat stress and possibly increased water- and vector-borne diseases, as well as decreased water availability and food production. The total burden of disease from climate change is inherently difficult to determine due to the many mechanisms through which climate can affect public health and the high level of uncertainty with future climate scenarios, GHG emission levels, and human adaptation measures. Our model includes only the effect of climate change on cardiovascular disease. The results show that climate change currently has minimal effects on human health relative to the other modeled priority areas. There were approximately 410 additional health-care facility visits and three additional deaths from cardiovascular disease in the UAE in 2008 due to the added risks of climate change.


Climate change Environmental burden of disease Relative risk Attributable fraction Premature deaths and health-care facility visits United Arab Emirates Per-capita greenhouse gas emissions Extreme heat events Inland and coastal flooding Emissions-reduction scenarios Heat-related cardiovascular disease Climate change mitigation and adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina–Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Environment Agency–Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.Health Authority–Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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