AJN On the Cover
This month's cover photo shows floodwater overtaking a Houston highway during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. At least 68 people were killed by the storm, most as a result of flooding. Harvey dumped a record-breaking 60 inches of rain as it lingered for days, causing an estimated $125 billion in damages and displacing thousands from their homes.
As time goes on, global warming—fueled by greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere—is expected to produce stronger, wetter, and more frequent storms. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, “[I]t is likely that greenhouse warming will cause hurricanes in the coming century to be more intense globally and have higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes.” And intensified weather isn't the only consequence of our changing climate: rising temperatures also threaten our food and water supply and the quality of the air we breathe, in addition to placing our physical and mental health at risk.
What can nurses do to address—and help mitigate—the health risks associated with climate change? See this month's Environments and Health column, “Nurses and Climate Action,” which provides in-depth information on practical steps to take.—Diane Szulecki, editor