EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Attributing human health impacts to climate change

Eunice Lo1, Dann Mitchell1, Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera2, and Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick3
Eunice Lo et al.
  • 1University of Bristol, Cabot Institute for the Environment, School of Geographical Sciences, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3School of Science, UNSW Canberra, Canberra Australia, and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Attributing extreme weather events to human-induced climate change has been a topic of interest for decades. In recent years where unprecedented and high-impact events have occurred all over the world, it is all the more important to not just understand how human influence on the climate system has changed the probability or magnitude of the weather events, but also how it has changed the impacts of these events on human life. In this talk, I will review the climate-epidemiology literature on attributing adverse human health impacts to climate change, with a focus on heat-related mortality, as it is well-established that high temperatures are associated with increased mortality risks. I will include notable heat-mortality events in history such as the 1995 Chicago heatwave, 2006 UK summer, and the 2003 European heatwave. I will also discuss the use of large ensembles of future climate projections to ‘attribute’ heat-related mortality that could occur if global mean warming reached certain levels, keeping other factors unchanged. Finally, I will discuss the use of climate-health attribution information in engaging with the media and communicating with policymakers.

How to cite: Lo, E., Mitchell, D., Vicedo-Cabrera, A. M., and Perkins-Kirkpatrick, S.: Attributing human health impacts to climate change, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5612,, 2023.