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Climate Change and Human Health

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Teachers' Domain

In this interactive, students explore, at their own pace, how global climate change may affect health issues. Issues include airborne diseases, developmental disorders, mental health disorders, vector-borne diseases and waterborne diseases.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Can be included in a health unit for health class as well as a disease unit in Biology class. Before starting the interactive, ask students to predict what kinds of health issues might stem from increasing global temperatures over time.
  • List of potential dangers is formidable and may frighten younger students.
  • Essay is definitely written for a high school audience.

About the Science

  • This is a basic, introductory resource about the connection between climate change and human health.
  • Interactive includes possible ways to reduce health risks.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Provides legitimate possible effects of climate change on human health that are both realistic and justified within the text. Many different resources that are used are not cited.

About the Pedagogy

  • Background essay and discussion questions are provided.
  • Educators can easily expand upon the discussion questions that are given to ensure a more thorough debate.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6

HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

HS-LS2.C2:Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species.

HS-LS3.B2:Environmental factors also affect expression of traits, and hence affect the probability of occurrences of traits in a population. Thus the variation and distribution of traits observed depends on both genetic and environmental factors.

HS-LS4.C4:Changes in the physical environment, whether naturally occurring or human induced, have thus contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new distinct species as populations diverge under different conditions, and the decline–and sometimes the extinction–of some species.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 5

Cause and effect, Stability and Change

HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

HS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.

HS-C2.3:Systems can be designed to cause a desired effect.

HS-C2.4:Changes in systems may have various causes that may not have equal effects.

HS-C7.3:Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.

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