Climate Change

Flooded downtown city

Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, can affect human health in several direct and indirect ways. Health can be influenced by changes in temperature and precipitation and occurrence of heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires. While all communities are vulnerable to health effects associated with climate change, not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.

We Track That

We partner with the Climate and Health Program to host data from several sources to track the effects of climate change and help communities respond. There is a pressing need to prepare for potential health risks.

Types of Data

The Tracking Network provides data about extreme weather and the vulnerabilities that increase risk for health effects related to those events.

Extreme Heat

  • Future Projections of Extreme Heat
    This indicator allows you to use modeled county-level data to look at projections of extreme daytime and nighttime temperatures to better understand how our climate is changing. These data can be used to understand trends in heat over time and focus preparedness plans to lessen the health effects of extreme heat.
  • Historical Extreme Heat Days and Events
    This indicator allows you to look at temperature, heat index, and number of days to define extremely hot days and extreme heat events using modeled data by county and census tract during May-September of each year.
  • Temperature Distribution
    This indicator allows you to look at daily temperature and heat index using modeled data by county during May-September of each year.
  • Heat Vulnerability
    This indicator includes measures that may make people at greater risk for heat-related health effects. These measures are diabetes, heart disease, poverty, race, advanced age, social isolation, disabilities, population density, forest canopy, developed land use, and cultivated crop land use.

Extreme Precipitation

  • Historical Extreme Precipitation
    This indicator allows you to look at the number of extreme precipitation days and the monthly estimates of precipitation by county and census tract for every state except Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Flood Vulnerability
    This indicator provides county level data on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated Special Flood Hazard Area including number of square miles within the area, the number of people living in the area, and the number of housing units within the area. These data can be used to estimate the number of people and housing units at risk from flooding.
  • Medical Infrastructure
    This indicator provides county-level data on the numbers of hospitals, numbers of hospital beds, percentage of hospitals located within a flood hazard area, and percentage of hospital beds located within a flood hazard area. These data can be used to identify community vulnerabilities, plan resource needs, and inform disaster preparedness efforts.
Data Highlight
CDC's Climate & Health Heat Tracker tool screenshot

Tracking partnered with CDC’s Climate & Health Program to develop the Heat and Health Tracker. This interactive data dashboard puts local heat information into the hands of decision makers, media, and the public for every county in the United States! See how extreme heat affects your county today.

Data in Action

Tracking climate change in a standard way over time can help us

  • evaluate extreme weather events at the national level, while allowing for comparisons across states,
  • better understand the possible health effects and risks to specific groups of people,
  • identify conditions that make people vulnerable during extreme weather events, and
  • design interventions and communication efforts for at-risk populations.

Read these success stories to learn about climate change related work in our funded Tracking Programs.

California | Minnesota |Missouri | New York City

Learn More

Tracking Resources

Explore Climate Change Data
Data Explorer
screenshot of Tracking Network data explorer tool

Create custom data visualizations, save, & share results

Quick Reports
Asthma Quick Reports web page screenshot

View data in simple charts

API graphic text

Access machine-readable data

Page last reviewed: October 21, 2020