Heatwaves and extreme weather events
Heatwaves have severe and adverse impacts on the health of Australians. While Australia is no stranger to heatwaves, increasing trends in their intensity, frequency and duration have been observed, with specific events having notable human health impacts.
Climate change is altering meteorological variables that influence the development, chemical transformation, transport, dispersion and deposition of air pollutants. Two pollutants particularly influenced by climate change are ground level ozone and particulate matter.
Infectious diseases place a substantial social and economic burden on Australia. Respiratory tract, food and vector-borne infections all decrease the quality and duration of Australian lives while antibiotic resistance is also becoming a costly problem.
Public health adaptation
Climate change will fundamentally alter our lives and society. Even moderate changes to our ecosystems will affect livelihoods and the wellbeing of communities. Employment patterns will be changed and businesses will incur losses, either directly through supply chain disruptions or indirectly through increased insurance costs.