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It is important that our Advisory Boards share an understanding of climate change, environmental health, and air quality. Below are key concepts we've discussed across our groups.

Climate vs Weather & Climate Change

  • Weather: represents the condition of the atmosphere over a short period of time (minutes to days)

  • Climate: weather of a region (or the planet) averaged over a long period of time

  • Climate Change: long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns 

Climate Stressors

  • Drought: a prolonged period of abnormally dry weather

  • Air Quality: a measure of how much pollution there is in the air


  • Wildfires: unplanned fires that occur in a natural area. They can be caused by human activities or by natural forces like lightning

  • Transboundary Haze: when pollution from another city, state, or even country affects the air quality and outdoor visibility in a community far away and in another jurisdiction

Health & Climate Terms

  • Environmental Health: a branch of public health focused on how the environment affects human health

  • Health Equity: a state where historical and current forms of injustice have been addressed so that everyone in a society has equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible

  • Climate Resilience: refers to the ability for communities to anticipate, adapt to, and recover from climate change related adversity, such as extreme weather events, drought, air pollution and/or wildfire

  • Environmental Justice: The concept that all people deserve equal protection from pollution

  • Climate Justice: Approaching climate change action so that the needs of people who will be most impacted by climate crises—but are least responsible for climate change—are prioritized

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