Reading time: 4 minutes

Researchers, scientists and policymakers from many disciplines discussed how climate affects health — and proposed solutions to mitigate its harmful effects — Friday during the University of Miami’s Sixth Climate and Health Symposium.

James Murley, Miami-Dade County Chief Resilience Officer, spoke at the Climate and Health Symposium.

Children are the most affected.

For many of them, the harmful effects of climate change, such as rising temperatures, poor air quality and water scarcity, may be too much for their still-developing bodies to manage, leaving them vulnerable to contracting and succumbing to respiratory conditions. For vector borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria.

“And children from underserved populations around the world face the greatest burden. They are 10 times more likely to be affected by those adverse climate events,” said Lisa Guinn, DO, MBA, MSPH, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and medical director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic.

Dr. .

Addressing health and other impacts of climate change

Clinical practice in addressing the health impacts of climate change; the increasing burden of trauma and injury due to climate change and natural disasters; Atlantic hurricane activity and landfall trends; strategies for advancing resilience through the built environment; and civil rights remedies to address housing displacement and racial segregation were some of the topics discussed.

South Florida, often described as ground zero for sea level rise, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, said Jeffrey Dwarke, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost for academic affairs at the opening ceremony of the daylong conference. “Our natural and built environment faces ever-increasing threats. The University of Miami serves as the capacity and intellectual force to create a living lab to address these local and global challenges to build a more resilient environment.”

He cited the university’s Climate Resilience Academy as one of the effective strategies for addressing climate change. More than 85 projects across schools and colleges are tackling climate and related resilience issues as part of the new initiative, partnering with industry, government and other stakeholders in some of these activities.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava echoed many of Provost Dwork’s sentiments, calling South Florida a subtropical coastline community that feels the effects of climate change before much of the rest of the world. “The climate crisis has arrived on our shores earlier than most, so we must innovate in real time to combat it,” he said.

Saying that his administration is “literally writing the climate bible that can be used around the world this century,” Cava noted initiatives such as a Building Efficiency 305 program aimed at increasing energy and water efficiency in large public and private structures, and Connect 2 Protect. Where sewer services are being extended to residents still using septic systems

“As the seas rise and the water table rises, these failing tanks are dumping waste directly into our water supply and our bay,” he said. “Many of these tanks are in low-income communities These are places where residents cannot afford the huge cost of conversion. So, we’re working with our cities, and we’re educating people about the need to transition.”

Held at the Lakeside Village Expo Center and co-sponsored by the Climate Resilience Academy and the Master of Science in Climate and Health Graduate Program, this symposium could not be more timely, serving as a prelude to an April 10 Washington Post story. Reports of an unusual rise in sea levels along the US Gulf and Southeast coast since 2010, raising concerns that coastal cities like Miami are more vulnerable to the effects of rising seas than previously thought.

The Engineering Coastal Resilience through Hybrid Reef Restoration, or ECoREEF, project is an example of the university’s major efforts to restore coral reefs while protecting coastlines from sea-level rise and storm surge. As part of that project, a team of scientists from the College of Engineering and Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences recently sunk 27 interlocking concrete structures to create two hybrid reef units 1,000 feet offshore of North Beach Oceanside Park. On the edge of Miami Beach.

Equitable solutions to climate change impacts

Researchers and public health scientists at the symposium agreed that preventing the negative health effects of climate change is critical. But solutions must be equitable and “meet the needs of all people, not just some,” cautions Gwen Coleman, Ph.D., director of the Office of Scientific Coordination, Planning, and Evaluation at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. His keynote speech

“This symposium is about more than informing about issues. It’s about solutions,” said Naresh Kumar, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences at the Miller School, who came up with the idea for the conference and has led the organization every year since its inception.

Noting that the pediatric mobile clinic he led was created more than 30 years ago in response to Hurricane Andrew, Dr. Guinn said the 38-foot van, which has telehealth capabilities in all exam rooms, continues to provide much-needed health care. Children in communities disproportionately affected by climate change.

“When we are in a disaster, we are well equipped to handle any type of first aid situation for children,” said Dr. Gowin. “And we will always be at the table to provide mobile healthcare in times of crisis and disaster.”

About 50 research projects on the impact of the climate crisis were showcased at the event, with faculty members and students on hand to explain and answer questions about their work.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *