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UW expert to discuss public health risks from regional climate change

September 4, 2007

Climate models predict more extreme weather events for the Upper Midwest. Without increased precautions and investments in infrastructure, more people are expected to be affected by heat waves, pollution, severe storms, and infectious diseases.

Jonathan Patz, an international expert in environmental effects on public health, will discuss “Climate Change and Health Risks for the Great Lakes Region,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 12, in Room 1111 of the Genetics – Biotechnology Center, 425 Henry Mall on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The event is part of the “Wednesday Nite @ the Lab” weekly series of free public science programs. Free parking is available in Lot 20 at 1390 University Avenue.

Patz, a medical doctor who also holds a master’s degree in public health, is an associate professor of environmental studies and population health sciences at UW–Madison, where he directs a university-wide initiative on global environmental health. He is one of the lead authors of the “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” section of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was released earlier this year.

In addition to discussing some of the IPCC findings, Patz will discuss preliminary results from an ongoing study in collaboration with climatologists and public health officials from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. With funding from the U.S. EPA, they are assessing public health threats from projected heat waves and heavy flooding events in the Great Lakes Region.

Patz’s lecture is sponsored by the UW Sea Grant Institute, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW Science Alliance, and the Wisconsin Alumni Association. His lecture is part of the 2007 seminar series “Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Starting a Public Discussion,” funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more information, contact Patz at (608) 262-4775,