Climate change describes a long-term pattern in climate measures, including temperature, precipitation (rain, snow, etc.), and other weather conditions caused by an imbalance of incoming and outgoing solar energy in the atmosphere. North Carolina is currently experiencing aspects of climate change that affect human health issues, such as prolonged heat-related illness.
Public health responds to climate impacts by preparing for and responding to weather effects on human health. Some examples of ongoing public health preparation and response to climactic events include hurricane preparedness, harmful algal bloom surveillance, and air quality alerts.
Climate change will bring new challenges in responding to these age-old public health issues. Therefore, a strategic plan is being developed to address health-related gaps and needs in North Carolina.