Colorado Health Researchers Concerned About Health Impact Of Climate Change

Aug 1, 2017

Credit NASA

Colorado’s climate changes have health researchers in the state concerned about the impact it will have on people with compromised respiratory systems, seniors, children and others.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, a new report by the Colorado Health Institute notes that Colorado’s average temperature has increased about two degrees in the past 30 years, which is unusually quick when looking at the historical record, but scientists are projecting average temperatures could rise another five degrees by 2050.

People with compromised cardiovascular, respiratory or nervous systems  - mainly kids and seniors – are most at risk because kids have a greater skin surface to weight ratio, meaning they absorb more heat than adults, and seniors also can’t regulate their body temperature as well.  

And between 1970 and 2012, there were 78 large wildfires in the state, with nearly a quarter happening from 2010 to 2012. Smoke from those fires degraded air quality, which also puts those with compromised cardiovascular, respiratory or nervous systems at risk.

The connection between climate change and health has begun to take traction in recent years. The American Public Health Association declared 2017 the Year of Climate Change and Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had planned a Climate and Health Summit for this year, but it was canceled.