Climate & Health

climate change icons

Climate change in Vermont is resulting in hotter summers, shorter winters, and more frequent storms. These trends are expected to continue in the future. The devastation from Tropical Storm Irene, the increasing occurrence of Lyme disease, and more frequent cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms are just a few examples of how climate change can impact Vermonters’ health. While everyone’s health is affected by climate change, certain people and places are more vulnerable than others.

Taking action to minimize the impacts of climate change can improve the health of Vermonters today and in the future. The Health Department is applying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework to:

  • Identify climate-related health risks in Vermont
  • Estimate the current and future impact of these risks
  • Identify populations and locations at greatest risk
  • Implement actions to prevent or minimize these risks
What do I need to know about climate change and health?

Climate change is already happening, and is expected to continue.

Climate change is increasing health risks in Vermont:

Certain people and places are at greater risk for climate-related health impacts.

Responding to climate change can benefit health now and in the future.

AHPA Climatenexus Climate Change Public Health Vermont

Title Date Type
Climate Change and Your Health
This is a two-page summary of the ways that climate change can affect Vermonters' health.
01/11/2017 PDF Download
Climate and Health Profile Report
This report is an in-depth review of how climate change may affect public health in Vermont. It has a summary of climate change in Vermont including projected changes in the future, an overview of climate-related health concerns—heat-related illness, mosquito and tick-borne diseases, health effects from extreme weather events, food and waterborne illness, pollen and air quality issues, and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).
09/07/2016 PDF Download
Heat Impacts on Health in Vermont
This document details the association of summer temperatures with heat-related illness and mortality in Vermont.
03/01/2016 PDF Download
Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index
This is a two-page summary description of the Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index.
05/02/2016 PDF Download
Climate Change and Health in Vermont White Paper
This white paper provides a summary of current and expected impacts of climate change on health in Vermont along with discussion of adaptation and mitigation actions that can be taken to reduce Vermont’s contribution to climate change while improving the health and well-being of Vermonters.
10/31/2017 PDF Download

human health effects of climate change training

This self-paced course is useful for the public health workforce and a wide range of community and partner organizations. It describes causes and mechanisms of climate change, current and expected human health impacts, and specific populations of concern, with particular emphasis on impacts in Vermont and the northeast. The course culminates with examples of strategies used to reduce climate change impacts on health and to improve health through climate change mitigation actions. Go to the Human Health Effects of Climate Change Training

Contact Information

Climate and Health Program
Phone:
802-863-7220 or
800-439-8550 (toll-free in Vermont)
Fax: 802-863-7483

ClimateHealth@vermont.gov

In This Section

Climate change is a long-term change in the typical weather conditions of a particular location, which could include warming, cooling, or changes in precipitation frequency or intensity.

Heat illnesses can be deadly. On very hot days, sometimes people's body temperature control systems can't keep up.

Vermont had 18 federally-declared disasters in the past 10 years, up over 50% from the preceding 10 years. Most of these disasters were a result of severe storms and flooding.

The spread of tickborne diseases to humans, including Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, has been increasing in Vermont and many other northern states.

Mosquitoes can be a major annoyance during warmer months in Vermont and can occasionally transmit serious diseases.

As temperatures in Lake Champlain and other fresh water bodies continue to warm due to climate change, and with more heavy precipitation, conditions will become more favorable for blooms to occur.

Heavy rains can wash contaminants into drinking, recreational, and irrigation waters, potentially leading to human illnesses.

Climate change is expected to increase allergenic pollen in the air we breathe, increase mold growth in homes and businesses, and could increase air pollution from sources like wildfire smoke.

Climate change is having widespread impacts on buildings and infrastructure, agriculture and other weather-dependent businesses, the quality of the environment, recreational opportunities, and physical health.

Climate change will affect everyone, but certain people and certain places will be affected more than others.