Severe floods, windstorms, heat-waves and cold-waves have caused dramatic political, social, environmental and health consequences in Europe over the past few years. In response to these events, ministries of health and other public health authorities, along with national and international meteorological services and organizations, are focusing increased attention on developing appropriate strategies and measures to prevent health effects from extreme weather and climate events in the future. Efforts are being made to understand the lessons learnt from recent events, to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken and early warning systems in place, and to use the knowledge gained to target future activities. The recent events have also increased interest in whether the intensity and frequency of future extreme weather and climate events could be expected to change as one result of a changing climate.
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