Tracking Climate and Health in Vermont

While climate change is a global issue, local effects vary. Air temperatures in Vermont have increased more than 4°F in winter and more than 2°F in summer and we receive 7 inches more of precipitation per year. Scientific evidence suggests that we will have more heavy precipitation events in the future, and average temperatures will continue to get warmer.

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Extreme heat events or heat wavescause more deaths each year in the U.S. than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined.

In the past 50 years, spring in Vermont now arrives two weeks earlier and winter starts one week later.

Explore Climate and Health Data

The reports below are interactive, which means you can:

  • Click on the tabs and buttons to navigate within the reports.
  • Hover over or click on the graphs, tables and maps to learn more.
  • Make the display bigger by clicking the button below.

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Your Questions Answered
What is climate change?

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. Natural occurrences contribute to climate change — such as ocean currents, volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, and variations in the earth’s orbit. However, between 90% and 100% of publishing climate scientists agree that human activity is contributing to the climate change that we are currently experiencing,1 primarily because of fossil fuel emissions and land use changes.2 There has been rigorous scientific study into the causes of climate change, and natural processes alone cannot account for the warming observed over the past century.

How does climate change affect health?

The Climate and Health Program has identified a variety of areas in which climate change can affect human health in Vermont. These include effects from extreme heat, extreme weather events, tickborne and-mosquito-borne diseases, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, air quality and pollen issues, and waterborne and foodborne diseases.

infographic showing how climate change affects your health
What climate-related data are included in the Vermont Tracking portal?

Currently, you can find state and county-level data on heat stress emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and mortality in the Vermont Tracking portal. You can also visit the Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) Tracker to find out more about the location of cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Champlain and inland lakes.

  • Heat stress emergency department visits

  • Heat stress hospitalizations

  • Heat stress mortality, 2000 – 2013

The Health Department has also produced a Heat Vulnerability Index interactive map, for emergency planning and educational purposes. Read more about the descriptions of the data going into the index and learn more about heat vulnerability in Vermont.

More Information
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Vermont Climate and Health Program

1 Cook, J., Oreskes, N., Doran, P. T., Anderegg, W. R., Verheggen, B., Maibach, E. W., ... & Nuccitelli, D. (2016). Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming.Environmental Research Letters11(4), 048002.
2 IPCC, 2014: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-32.

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