Center for Health
and the Global
Climate Health and Risk Tool


Explore potential climate-related impacts to community health using interactive decision-support models
Wildfire, Klamath National Forest | Photo: Matt Howard

Global environmental change is impacting community health

Decision makers and community members need information about how climate-related environmental hazards like heat, storms, flooding, drought, and wildfires are likely to impact people's health.

These hazards disproportionally affect some communities more than others. Decision support models can help us understand and explore the mechanisms, magnitude, and location of these impacts in order to develop more informed plans to protect community health.

Image of flooded road and road sign

The Climate Health and Risk Tool provides an interactive way to explore how a variety of climatic, environmental, social, and economic factors contribute to climate-related hazards faced by communities. This information helps decision makers and community members develop plans to protect communities and public health under changing climate-related environmental conditions.

To get started:

About the tool
The models in this tool use a fuzzy logic modeling approach to combine disparate factors including climate-related hazards, population exposure, and population vulnerability to estimate risks to communities.
Explore models
This tool makes it easy to explore models on a variety of topics such as wa legislative districts 2021 heat dome heat-health risks and wa legislative districts historical heat-health risks and places such as Washington State and King County, WA.
Explore guidance
Explore guidance documents available in this tool to learn how to plan and prepare for climate-related health risks to your community.

About the Climate Health and Risk Tool

This tool enables you to explore the results of fuzzy models that integrate multiple community and climate measures to characterize climate-related hazards facing communities.

Conceptual framework

At the highest level, these models are based on the IPCC risk framework in which risk is defined as the combination of vulnerability, hazard, and exposure:

  • Vulnerability: factors that make the effects of a hazard more or less damaging, such as social, economic, environmental, or biophysical characteristics of a community.
  • Hazard: the factor that does damage, such as extreme heat or flooding.
  • Exposure: the assets at risk from the hazard, such as human lives, infrastructure, or natural resources.
IPCC AR5 Conceptual Framework image
Photo: IPCC AR5 Conceptual Framework
Fuzzy modeling

Fuzzy modeling is a tool for combining logical propositions using a hierarchical structure. For example, a proposition such as "Where is the weather most unpleasant" can be evaluated using the combination of other logical propositions, such as "Where is temperature the hottest?" and "Where is it most windy?".

Fuzzy modeling starts by transforming a each charactistic that impacts each proposition in the model from its absolute value range , such as raw population count, to its fuzzy value range, such as Falsest to Truest for the proposition "population is high".

These propositions are then combined within a model to get to progressively higher-order propositions and eventually contribute toward the overall conclusion of the model.

Explore a model's structure

The structure of a model documents how various characteristics of a community are combined to reach an overall conclusion for the model. Each characteristic and logical proposition is represented as a "node" within the model's structure.

This structure is available in the sidebar on each model page, enabling you to "drill down" through the levels of the model and learn more about how those characteristics were combined within model.

Click the i button on the model page to learn more information about that node, including a summary and links to additional resources, where available.

Example model structure diagram
Find details about a location

To learn more about the characteristics used in a model at a given location, click on that area in the map. The model structure will show the values for that specific area for every node in the model.

This can help you identify those characteristics that may be contributing toward a given logical proposition or the overall conclusion of the model.

Example map and model structure for selected area

Latest models

Explore models by
King County Washington Tree planting Priority - 2036-2065 - Hottest 3 days of each year (15 arcsecond grid) (version 5.00)
for King County, WA
created 07/11/2023
by Tim Sheehan, Jeremy Hess
Unvetted, example model for tree planting priority in King County, Washington State based on heat-health risk determined using the hottest 3 days of each reporting unit over the period 1990-2020
for Pierce County, Washington
created 03/22/2023
by Tim Sheehan, Alyssa Miller, Jeremy Hess
This model characterizes the most intense short-term risk by considering the hottest three days for each reporting unit in each year between 1991 and 2020 for Pierce County, WA.
for Washington State
created 09/21/2023
by Tim Sheehan, Alyssa Miller, Jeremy Hess
This model characterizes the most intense long-duration risk by considering the hottest thirty days for each reporting unit in each year between 1991 and 2020.
Have a question?

If you need help understanding this modeling approach, how to use this tool, or how to apply these models to your area, please contact us. We're here to help!

This tool was developed by the Center for Health and the Global Environment within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington and was made possible with the support of a CoMotion grant.

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