Health and climate change content added to the Climate Atlas

The Prairie Climate Centre has added health and climate change content to the Climate Atlas of Canada.

The Prairie Climate Centre (PCC) – based at The University of Winnipeg launched new videos, maps, and articles on the Climate Atlas of Canada, which explore many of the health and climate change risks and adaptation options facing Canadians. This content designed to support resiliency amongst the Canadian public and is available at: https://climateatlas.ca/topic/health

The work on the Climate Atlas of Canada is supported by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, who continue to collaborate with the PCC to create tools and opportunities to engage Canadians on the health impacts of climate change. The release of this new content marks a milestone in the project.

“While we are in the midst of a global health emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that in the long-term climate change poses a continuous and increasingly severe threat to public health,” said Rhea Rocque, a psychologist and Post-doctoral Fellow at the PCC.

The PCC brings together climate science and storytelling and are the creators of the Climate Atlas of Canada (www.climateatlas.ca), which is a national tool that visualizes and links climate data and scholarship with video-based stories from communities across the country. Through workshops, interviews, and dialogue, the PCC documents diverse health impacts and adaptations across various sectors/scales and synthesize findings using multi-media approaches and best practices in climate and health communications. The Atlas has over 1,000 daily users and is the “go to” website for Canadians seeking information and applied planning resources.

“The health impacts of climate change are wide ranging – like increasing heatwaves, air quality issues, and infectious diseases like Lyme disease,” said Dr. Ian Mauro, Executive Director of the Prairie Climate Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography. “By helping Canadians understand that climate change is fundamentally a health issue, we believe this new content will help support wellness and resilience from coast to coast to coast.”

New videos, articles, and maps featuring experts from across Canada explore several key health issues under a changing climate:

  • The impact of increasing wildfires on water quality and availability – Destruction of vegetation and increased erosion are just a few of the ways in which wildfires disrupt water availability and quality. This poses threats to human health and raises challenges for water management systems. In this video, experts Monica Emelko and Francois Robinne explain the connections between wildfire, water, and the health of Canadians: https://climateatlas.ca/wildfires-water-and-our-health
  • Increasing risk and range of Lyme disease – Longer, hotter summers and more mild winters are increasing the suitable habitat for Lyme-carrying blacklegged ticks in Canada. Read more about it, look at maps of the changing risk, and watch a video at: https://climateatlas.ca/lyme-disease-under-climate-change
  • Potential for new and increasing airborne allergens – Longer summers and changing climates are bringing the possibility of more and different pollens to Canada. Researchers at Aerobiology Research Laboratories have been monitoring pollen across the country for decades and talk about how climate change affects allergenicity: https://climateatlas.ca/climate-change-air-quality-and-public-health

Both Drs. Rocque and Mauro are available for interviews and French and English speaking media outlets can be accommodated.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brandon Logan, Digital Communications Coordinator
The University of Winnipeg
e: b.logan@uwinnipeg.ca

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