Climate change and health | Sabine Gabrysch

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One of the key topics of the 2022 World Health Summit in Berlin is climate change and planetary health. This is also the field of research of Sabine Gabrysch who, since June 2019, has held the first German chair on climate change and health at the Charité hospital in Berlin. The 46-year-old doctor and epidemiologist studies the effects of climate change on human health. At the same time, she looks for ways to overcome the associated challenges.

However, Gabrysch does not limit his research exclusively to climate change, but integrates it into the broader concept of planetary health. Other aspects of human-induced environmental change, such as biodiversity loss and land degradation, are also considered. As the scientist pointed out when she took office, “The big goal is: healthy people on a healthy planet. Through my research, I want to contribute to improving the health of people around the world. while stabilizing the natural systems upon which humanity ultimately depends.”

The interest shown by the public in the field of research also underlined how right the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research were to jointly establish the new institute. “It’s amazing how much interest there is in this topic,” Gabrysch told the German Medical Journal a good two years after the new chair was launched. “It definitely fills a need. For a long time, climatologists didn’t really have human health on their radar, and health scientists didn’t have climate change on theirs. Yet, ultimately, it Obviously you have to watch them both together.”

As Gabrysch explained in February 2022 at an event organized by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, there is not only an immediate danger for people due to floods, storms or heat waves; crop yields and thus the food security of the world’s population are also threatened by extreme weather events. Besides fundamental knowledge of the effects of global ecological changes on human health, putting in place measures to combat climate change is also one of the major research challenges, she said. The scientist is convinced that there are many win-win solutions that are both good for people’s health and can fight climate change.


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