The new Paris agreement aimed at curbing climate change is scheduled to take effect in 2020. In the meantime, public health officials have their eye on abnormally high temperatures sweeping across the country.
The national Dec. 25 holiday could be the warmest in decades, and the prospect for a snowy Christmas is unlikely in most Northern states.
Continued warm weather patterns this winter could foreshadow a steamy summer and the potential for heat waves like the record one that led to more than 700 deaths in Chicago in 1995, said Elena Grossman, the Illinois manager for a project funded in 16 states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called Building Resilience Against Climate Effects.
“That could become more typical,” Grossman said. “There are a myriad of public health issues that are connected to climate change.”
According to the CDC, shifting weather patterns hurt healthy ecosystems. The climate changes can facilitate the spread of illnesses that are transmitted through food and water, and boost the presence of disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes and ticks.