Climate and health impacts

We conduct research to understand what weather and climate variability, including climate sensitivity, means for human health, in the UK and around the world.

Extreme weather and climate events affect human health in multiple ways, many of which are not well understood. We are a group of climate scientists and health modelers who employ large ensembles of climate model simulations to attribute health impacts of extreme weather events to human-induced climate change. We utilise different climate change scenarios, including the Paris agreement climate targets, to project future health impacts.

We study a range of health impacts, including heatwave-related mortality, morbidity, and maternal health outcomes, as well as extreme temperature and storm effects on wellbeing. We investigate population exposure to severe flood events and model infectious diseases.

Our work provides evidence to health agencies and informs policy locally, nationally, and internationally for increasing population resilience.

Best heat stress metric for predicting warm season mortality in different countries. Source: Lo et al., International Journal of Climatology, 2023.

1-in-30-year heat-related deaths that could be avoided by meeting the Paris Agreement goal. Source: Lo et al., Sci Advances, 2019; Union of Concerned Scientists.

Increase in likelihood of 1-3 day winter precipitation extremes for most English regions between 1975 and 2015 for different return periods [Cotterill et al., 2024]. Data used from DePreSys4, changes above one represent an increase in likelihood since 1975, shaded bars represent the 95% confidence intervals.

Source: Cotterill, D. F., Mitchell, D., Stott, P. A., & Bates, P. (2024). Using UNSEEN approach to attribute regional UK winter rainfall extremes. International Journal of Climatology, 1–19.