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Climate Change and Human Health Glossary

  1. What is the Climate Change and Human Health Glossary?

    The Climate Change and Human Health Glossary is a searchable resource of the most relevant terms related to the science of the health impacts of climate change. Currently, the Glossary comprises a collection of nearly 300 terms and their definitions. Additional climate change-specific context is provided for certain terms that have different uses or meanings in other disciplines. This resource identifies closely related terms for each entry, and groups terms in categories by concepts. Users can search individual terms, browse terms alphabetically, or explore by category.

  2. Why was the glossary created?

    The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) developed the Glossary to facilitate the use of a standardized language by researchers working in a wide range of disciplines related to climate change and health. Using  standardized terminology enables data sharing, improves understanding, and advances research needed to inform health-protective decision and policy making. NIEHS has developed this resource as part of an ongoing strategy to provide global access to the growing body of knowledge on climate change and health impacts. Other components of this strategy include the NIEHS Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal and the Disaster Research Response (DR2) Resources Portal. The Glossary helps to fulfill goals of the Strategic Framework for the NIH Climate Change and Health Initiative.

  3. How were the definitions and context developed?

    The Glossary was developed through an iterative process of drafting and review. Potential terms were identified across relevant disciplines from existing specialized glossaries, websites of climate research and health organizations, scientific literature, subject matter experts, and other sources. A team of subject matter experts adapted definitions and context from selected authoritative sources in the climate change and human health fields.  The definition may have been developed from a published report or document, content on a website, or published article. A sample of sources used include the NIEHS Environmental Health Language Collaborative, the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Global Change Research Program and others. For terms that have generic or multiple uses, the team created climate change and health-specific descriptions to provide context. For example, because the term “infectious disease” is traditionally defined in reference to medicine, a contextual description was added to demonstrate the connection between infectious disease and climate change.. Internal and external experts reviewed the content and provided feedback and guidance.  An external review was conducted to assure content accuracy and relevance. These definitions are currently fit for purpose and will evolve as the field and body of knowledge grow. Please use the Contact Us button at the Glossary to reach out to us if you need more information.     

  4. How are the terms categorized?

    Terms are grouped based on commonalities in their concepts, uses, focus, and more. The goal of the categories is to improve learning by helping users identify the connection between certain terms and to enhance the utility of the site by allowing users interested in a particular category to view it as a whole, rather than having to search for all potential terms. Similarly, the Related Terms identified for each glossary term are those most similar or most often used in relation to a given term.

  5. How often will the glossary be updated?

    The Glossary will be reviewed and updated on a semi-annual basis. A review of recent content of the CCHH Literature Portal will provide insight on new terms and their usage in research and policy.  Feedback on the Glossary is encouraged and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Users can provide feedback through the Contact Us button on the site.

  6. Can I recommend terms to be included in the glossary?

    Yes! The Glossary is intended to be dynamic and evolve with the field and new knowledge. Requests for new terms to be added to the glossary or for changes to be made to definitions or context will be considered by the Glossary Core team and reviewers.  Please use the Contact Us button in the Glossary to make a suggestion, and include as much information as possible (citation, source, links, etc.) to support your suggestion.

  7. How do I search for terms and definitions?

    Users can search the glossary by entering a keyword in the search box. Users can also browse for terms using the alphabet by clicking on the letter your term starts with which will deploy all the terms that start with that letter. Users can then scroll down to your term. Users can also browse by categories if they want to see terms collected by a common theme. Users can then click on that term to get the full definition, context (if provided) and any related terms.

  8. Search terms:

    • Searches are not case-sensitive. A search for pacific is the same as PACIFIC.
    • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase instead of separate words (e.g. "west africa") for more focused results.
  9. Is there a way to download the entire glossary?
  10. At this time, there is no way to download the entire glossary. We encourage you to return to this site to stay up to date and informed. For research collaboration, please make a request through the Contact Us button on the Glossary website.

  11. Can search results be exported to a program such as Microsoft Excel or Endnote?
  12. In any search results window, mark the checkbox next to the terms and definitions you would like to download or export. Once you have made your selection, use the "View Selected Items" button at the top of the results list. Several options are offered:

    • Download terms as CSV
    • Download as PDF
    • Email

    You can also print the search results using the print icon on the right side of the screen under the social media options.

    Download Terms as CSV: All the terms and definitions you selected will be included in a single CSV file. CSV files can be opened by most spreadsheet and text editing programs.

    Download All Details as PDF: The selected terms and their definitions will be bundled into one PDF file. Each page in the PDF file will look very similar to the detail pages displayed in this online glossary.

    Email:  The glossary terms and definitions you selected  will be included in an email message. If you select this option, you will be asked to provide one or more email addresses to receive your message. You can also customize the message before sending it.

  13. How can I share glossary search results?

    You can share a list of selected terms or individual terms using email or social media.

    Email a list of selected glossary results: Once you have selected one or more terms, use the "View Selected Items" button at the top of the results list.  The glossary terms and definitions you selected terms will be included in an email message. If you select this option, you will be asked to provide one or more email addresses to receive your message. You can also customize the message before sending it.

    Share the glossary detail page for a single resource:  Sharing buttons are available on the individual term detail pages. Links are provided to share via Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, or email.

  14. Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

    For technical difficulties or questions, please use the Contact Us button on the glossary page.  We will make every effort to respond to you as quickly as possible.

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