Cumberland Times-News

February 25, 2013

Researchers to probe regional impact of climate change

LAUREN KIRKWOOD
Associated Press

— WASHINGTON — From potential heat waves to increased cases of respiratory illness and outbreaks of infectious disease, Maryland scientists are looking to predict how climate change will affect health in order to help communities across the state prepare.

Looking ahead at the possible impact of global warming will give states and cities the chance to enact plans to protect those especially vulnerable to public health threats, including infants, the elderly and people with allergies or other medical conditions, scientists said.

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama noted 12 of the hottest years on record have fallen in the past 15 years, and said if Congress fails to act to prepare the nation for the impact of climate change, he and his Cabinet will.

Maryland is a recipient of some of that action — it received $250,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative, which includes 16 states and two cities, to analyze potential effects of climate change. The funding will be used over four years to study threats in the state, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.