‘Report links health to climate change’

Under the “Science” category, RadioNZ?publishes the usual obligatory photo of backlit harmless water vapour and then waffles on:? Quote:

(Their picture is actually titled “eight_col_smoke”!)

The report by the Environment and Science Research Institute (ESR) outlined the possible effects on human health, as a result of extreme weather, air pollution and UV radiation. End of quote.

Extreme weather ? the clue is in the name: it is weather, not climate. Air pollution is caused by humans and is not climate. UV radiation is caused by the sun and affected by the ozone hole, which appears to not be affected by CFC reductions etc. There may be some climatic effect on UV but one paper on the subject had this to say, “Aerosols are possibly the most important factor for future UV levels over heavily populated areas, but their projected effects are the most uncertain.” So, possibly nothing to do with climate change here either? Quote:

ESR spokesperson Chris Nokes said climate change meant new diseases could arrive in New Zealand.

“Parts of New Zealand are too cold to support certain species of mosquito that may carry diseases we presently regard as being more tropical, but with all of the country becoming warmer it increases the possibility of those mosquitos finding a habitat, and bringing those diseases with them,” he said. End of quote.

Ah! So climate change really means warming. It is curious that references to climate change are usually on the positive temperature side of the ledger, the “change” only seems to move in one direction. Quote:

The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, reviewed international and domestic research to consider what health effects may present over the next 50 to 100 years.

It is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The report broke down the effects of climate change and looked at what health effects could then arise.

Dr Nokes said extreme weather and rising temperatures could bring drought causing wildfires and water contamination or shortage.

Storms and heavy rain could also affect water quality and flooding – particularly affecting the health of those living in low-lying coastal areas. End of quote.

So, we have heavy rain and droughts due to weather and good old “rising temperatures”.

How bad are these rising temperatures? The NIWA Seven Station series has been recorded (and adjusted) since 1909 and looks like this:

(For context, I have included the typical annual range of Auckland, Christchurch and national mean temperatures on the graph.)

Wow, those man-made carbon-dioxide caused rising temperatures sure look pretty scary.? How has the health of the nation survived thus far with variations to date of around 10 degrees between summer and winter and a variation in the national mean of six degrees?? Quote:

But, extreme weather could also bring benefits.

“It could perhaps decrease death rates over winter for elderly or people more vulnerable to colder temperatures,” he said.

The other consideration was a breakdown of the ozone layer and less cloud coverage, exposing New Zealanders to higher levels of UV radiation from the sun.

Dr Nokes said too much exposure to UV radiation was unhealthy, but so was too little.

“As people are trying to stay out of the sun to avoid the increased UV radiation then there’s the potential for Vitamin D deficiency.”

“A number of these effects are two edged swords in many respects.” End of quote.

An honest statement. Well done, Chris. It is not all doom and gloom, after all.? Quote:

Dr Nokes said the link between climate change and health was not discussed enough. End of quote.

Perhaps because it is a total non-issue? Quote:

“It’s surprising that the connection hasn’t been made more, because we all live in the environment and changes to that environment are potentially going to have effects on us.

“It’s fairly certain that the more we start looking at the overall impacts or expected effects of climate change we’re going to need to understand what those effects will be for humans trying to exist in this changing environment.”

The Ministry of Health was working with ESR to develop a plan. End of quote.

“It’s fairly certain that the more we start looking at the overall impacts or expected effects of climate change…” translates as “send more grant money!”

Oh, sorry ? forgot the official scary graph from NIWA: