Climate change is a shift in weather patterns that is directly or indirectly caused by human activity. Climate change has an impact on the health of the population, notably by changing the composition of the air we breathe and influences the temperature and frequency of certain weather events. They are in addition to natural climate change.
Numerous effects of climate change can already be seen in Québec:
Some effects of these climate changes are already observable in Québec and affect the public health. However, there are many steps that can be taken to prevent health problems associated with climate change.
Climate change can worsen chronic diseases:
It can also cause death due to complications.
Heat waves are more frequent with climate change and can cause several health problems, varying from discomfort to dehydration.
These problems particularly impact:
To learn more, read The Effects of Oppressive and Extreme Heat.
Floods caused by a significant accumulation of rain can increase the risk of injury and drowning. They can also cause various health problems:
In times of drought, some basic foods can be hard to find and therefore more expensive. Given the increased cost of groceries, it can be difficult for some people to buy the nutritious foods needed to maintain good health. Severe droughts are also a significant source of stress for agricultural workers.
Polluted air that accumulates over cities (smog) can affect many people, even if they are healthy, including children and joggers and other athletes.
Smog can cause:
Climate change causes a rise in temperature and humidity, which increases the concentration of pollen in the air. Pollen is an allergen that causes seasonal rhinitis (hay fever). This allergic reaction can lead to several complications:
Climate change fosters the displacement of populations of animals, insects and ticks that carry diseases that are transmissible to humans. In Québec, such displacement increases the number of cases of:
The increase in average temperatures in Québec caused by climate change also influences our behaviour. By spending more time outdoors, many people are increasingly exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This can lead to the following consequences:
Last update: December 7, 2015 9:34 AM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.