Presentation on theme: "Climate & Health: A Toolkit? Peter J Robinson Department of Geography Southeast Regional Climate Center University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill."— Presentation transcript:
Climate & Health: A Toolkit? Peter J Robinson Department of Geography Southeast Regional Climate Center University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Climate & Health: Background Multitudinous Links –Few well established –Most probably complex –Climate not always dominant driver Emerging Public Awareness –Public Health Awareness Week –Increasing information needs –Climate predictions required
Objective Develop a climate-health impact toolkit –Simple set of broadly applicable techniques Match tool (types) to impact (types) –help understand science behind links –help respond to likely impacts –help with predictions –foster rapid (preliminary) response to user needs to emerging questions/new threats
Approach: Case study based Review known climate-health links –Limited range Incorporate other possible methods –Draw on all aspects of applied climatology Suggest new approaches –Literature review –Personal interactions –Graduate student input
Heat Index Application Heat Stress Index – a simplification –U.S: T max, T min, humidity, duration Thresholds variable across nation Not time dependent –Europe: T max, duration Simple to use Seemingly regarded as static Applied to the variety of climates Cultural adaptation?
UV Exposure Culturophysical Model –Intensity/Quality + exposure time –Social estimation of times Accuracy vs Complexity –Too complex to use Ability to test –Time to accumulate too long Validity of basic method?
Transport - Diffusion Air pollution –Various well-established applications Ozone & Particulate Matter –Longer transport time –Synoptic approach Indoor- Outdoor: Flu –(Bio)physical transport model –Jet stream or Jet plane?
Indoor-Outdoor Air: Flu More flu in winter –Seasonal = climate connection? –Viral diffusion process Means of diffusion –Jet stream or Jet plane? (Bio)physical transport model –Viral survival and transport –Scale of flu diffusion problem
Weather and Influenza: What Do We Know? Cold air Virus is stable (remains active) Breathing cold air increases respiratory clearance More time spent indoors decreases melatonin and Vitamin D Dry air Virus decays at a slower rate Virus remains suspended in the air Evaporation decreases size of bioaerosol to that favorable for infection in the lower respiratory tract Wind Bioaerosols that settle can be kicked-up by gusty winds Increased transport and residence time in the air
Regional Shifts Long-term Changes –Climate Change –Outside historical record length Wide area Variations –Downscale from models –Upscale from observations
Malarial Regional Shifts Temperature trends –Warm areas advance poleward –Suitable seasons for malarial mosquitos? –Impacts inferred from Malarial Atlas Project? Surface water changes –Known role of standing water in dry areas –Will warm areas get sufficiently wet? –Will seasonality influence mosquitos?
Climate – Malaria Links Seasonality of changed climate? –Downscale model results –Link to synoptics –Add temporal variability as random process? Response of mosquitos/parasites –Lifecycles under non-tropical conditions? Response to Urbanization –Representative of external factors
Summary of Tools Statistical climatology models Synoptic Climatology approaches Customized biophysical models General climate models Ability to interlink tools Need to link various climate factors Awareness of other inputs