Living with Climate Change: Chapter 11 - Climate change and human health: Primary, secondary, and tertiary effects

Elsevier, Living with Climate Change, 2024, Pages 213-240
Colin D. Butler

This chapter describes the most important consequences to human health from climate change, using a three-tiered conceptual framework, including events that are “primary” (e.g., from heatwaves and other extreme weather events), “secondary” (e.g., from vector-borne diseases and climate change-associated impacts on air pollution), and “tertiary” (e.g., via large-scale violence). The mental health effects of some of these impacts are also briefly discussed. The focus of the chapter is global. These effects are positioned in the broader context of global social and environmental change. The chapter finds that the prospects for global human health are ominous and very poorly understood by the wider health community.