Seasonal Forecasts, Climatic Change and Human Health: Health and Climate / Edition 1

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Awareness that many key aspects of public health are strongly influenced by climate is growing dramatically, driven by new research and experience and fears of climate change and the research needed to underpin policy developments in area is growing rapidly. This awareness has yet to translate into a practical use of climate knowledge by health policy-makers. Evidence based policy and practice is the mantra of the health sector. If climate scientists are to contribute effectively to health policy at local and global scales then careful empirical studies must be undertaken focused on the needs of the public health policy and decision-makers.

Results presented at the Wengen conference make clear that the science and art of integrating climate knowledge into the control of climate sensitive diseases on a year to year time frame as well as careful assessments of the potential impacts of climate change on health outcomes over longer time frames is advancing rapidly on many fronts. This includes advances in the empirical understanding of mechanisms, methodologies for modeling future impacts, new partnership developments between the health and climate community along with access to relevant data resources, and education and training. In a rapidly evolving field this book provides a snapshot of these emerging themes.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jeanne B Hewitt, PhD, RN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Description: This book links climate changes with public health consequences (i.e., infectious diseases and the human health effects associated with extreme weather events), with the goal of advancing seasonal forecasts and the implementation of surveillance systems to predict (and control) climate-sensitive outcomes. It also outlines some scientific, policy-making, and technology-related opportunities and challenges.
Purpose: As a report on an international conference on seasonal climate forecasting as it relates to health, the book provides examples of the way in which climate change effects allergen-induced health problems, health outcomes related to weather extremes, vector-borne diseases, and policy and adaptation. It contributes to the dialogue between climate and public health scientists and the book largely meets the authors' objectives, although more details on public health policies and other interventions would have been welcome.
Audience: It appears to be written for policy makers and public health leaders to alert them to the effect of climate change and weather on human health. The chapter authors are recognized authorities in their respective fields.
Features: The book summarizes climate change trends and the challenges of forecasting long-range changes; the effect of new and changing climate conditions on weather, including rainfall/drought, and in turn, an increased risk associated with sequelae of temperature and weather extremes; water- and vector-borne diseases such as malaria; and airborne allergens. Chapter 3 is an outstanding, in-depth review of infectious diseases and their relationship to climate change. In particular, table 3.1 is a very useful tool for understanding the global impact of climate change on human health, presenting a compilation of pathogenic organisms and their vectors, climate conditions, and countries affected by them, as well as references by countries where these infections are well documented. The appendixes compile color plates that may serve as baseline weather-related data. The report provides an initial discussion of the implications of climate change on human health, but would benefit from more in-depth discussion of public health interventions, including policy-making.
Assessment: This is a valuable contribution to the dialogue between experts in climate change and public health especially related to climate-induced changes in infectious disease patterns and the ability to anticipate and minimize the adverse health consequences of weather-related events. From a public health perspective, chapter 3 is an outstanding synthesis of the global impact of climate-affected infectious diseases.
From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"This book links climate changes with public health consequences … . written for policy makers and public health leaders to alert them to the effect of climate change and weather on human health. … This is a valuable contribution to the dialogue between experts in climate change and public health especially related to climate-induced changes in infectious disease patterns and the ability to anticipate and minimize the adverse health consequences of weather-related events." (Jeanne B. Hewitt, Doody’s Review Service, October, 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402068768
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Series: Advances in Global Change Research Series, #30
  • Edition description: 2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements v

Contributors ix

Part I Seasonal Climate Forecasting for Health Stephen J. Connor Madeleine C. Thomson Bettina Menne 1

Chapter 1 The Impact on Human Health of Climate and Climate Change: Research in the ENSEMBLES Project from Seasonal to Centennial Timescales Chris D. Hewitt 5

Chapter 2 "Flowering Walnuts in the Wood" and Other Bases for Seasonal Climate Forecasting Simon J. Mason 13

Chapter 3 Climate and Infectious Diseases Louise Kelly-Hope Madeleine C. Thomson 31

Chapter 4 Integration of Seasonal Forecasts into Early Warning Systems for Climate-Sensitive Diseases such as Malaria and Dengue Stephen J. Connor Gilma C. Mantilla 71

Chapter 5 Climate and Environmental Information and the Control of Epidemic Meningitis in Africa Luis E. Cuevas C. Anthony Hart Madeleine C. Thomson 85

Chapter 6 A Multimodel Framework in Support of Malaria Surveillance and Control Daniel Ruiz Stephen J. Connor Madeleine C. Thomson 101

Recent Developments and Next Steps in Seasonal Forecasting and Health Madeleine C. Thomson Stephen J. Connor Bettina Menne 127

Part II Climate Change and Health Martin Beniston Ricardo Garcia-Herrera 131

Chapter 7 The RedGems Information System: Climate, Environment and Public Health Yves M. Tourre Jean P. Lacaux Antonio Guell M. LaFaye Philippe Sabatier Eliane Coeffier Laurent Braak 135

Chapter 8 Impacts of Heat and Ozone on Mortality Risk in the New York City Metropolitan Region Under a Changing Climate Kim Knowlton Christian Hogrefe Barry Lynn Cynthia Rosenzweig Joyce Rosenthal Patrick L. Kinney 143

Chapter 9 Physiological Equivalent Temperature as Indicator for Impacts of Climate Change on Thermal Comfort of Humans AndreasMatzarakis Bas Amelung 161

Chapter 10 Weather, Ambient Air Pollution and Bronchial Asthma in Athens, Greece Panagiotis Th. Nastos 173

Chapter 11 Outreach from the IAI Collaborative Research Network on Climate Variability and Human Health Impacts in the Tropical Americas Joan L. Aron 189

Recent Developments and Next Steps in Climate Change and Health Patrick L. Kinney Ricardo Garcia-Herrera Stephen J. Connor 203

Colour Plates: Appendix 1 207

Colour Plates: Appendix 2 213

Author Index 223

Subject Index 229

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