You may have seen some news stories over the weekend about a leaked draft of the "Summary for Policymakers" section of the forthcoming IPCC report, which is scheduled to be released next March. Apparently the draft was passed along to a climate-denial blog, which made it available as a downloadable PDF.
Presumably the deniers will spend a happy winter looking for holes in the IPCC findings, and then claim victory when the final version varies from the draft. They will persuade no one but themselves.
In any case, I find the draft interesting for a number of reasons, and especially because of its comments on the effect of climate change on global health. Here are some selections, re-paragraphed but with the original bolding and italics:
In recent decades, climate change has likely contributed to human ill-health although the present world-wide burden of ill-health from climate change is relatively small compared with effects of other stressors and is not well quantified. There has been increased heat-related mortality and decreased cold-related mortality in some regions as a result of warming (medium confidence). (p. 3)
Until mid-century, climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist (very high confidence), and climate change throughout the 21st century will lead to increases in ill-health in many regions, as compared to a baseline without climate change (high confidence).
Examples include greater likelihood of injury, disease, and death due to more intense heat waves and fires; increased likelihood of under-nutrition resulting from diminished food production in poor regions; risks from lost work capacity and reduced labor productivity in vulnerable populations; and increased risks from food- and water-borne diseases.
Positive effects will include modest improvements in cold-related mortality and morbidity in some areas due to fewer cold extremes, shifts in food production, and reduced capacity of disease-carrying vectors (medium confidence), but globally, positive impacts will be outweighed by the magnitude and severity of negative impacts (high confidence).
The most effective adaptation measures for health in the near-term are programs that implement basic public health measures such as provision of clean water and sanitation, secure essential health care including vaccination and child health services, increase capacity for disaster preparedness and response, and alleviate poverty (very high confidence). (p. 11)
If you wish, you can Download Wgiiar5-spm_fgdall; it's a 7.7 MB file of 29 pages.