Climate Change, Hurricanes, and Health

Alistair J. Woodward, MMedSci, PhD, MB; Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS


Am J Public Health. 2018;108(1):33-35. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The year 2017 has seen a devastating series of hurricanes across the Caribbean, Central America, and the United States—Harvey in August, Irma and Maria in September, and Nate in October. The first three caused devastation along their paths and reached the United States as Category 4 hurricanes. Inevitably, there has been discussion on the role of climate change in increasing the severity of tropical storms generally and this series of hurricanes specifically.

We address the causal attribution of severe and extreme weather events to climate change and the associated health consequences. This attribution is of primary scientific interest but comes with evident political implications.