PPT Mearns Intro2 health 2006

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Published on October 25, 2007

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Introduction to the Colloquium on Climate and Health: A Challenge to Interdisciplinarity:  Introduction to the Colloquium on Climate and Health: A Challenge to Interdisciplinarity L. O. Mearns NCAR Colloquium on Climate and Health NCAR, Boulder, CO July 17, 2006 Evolution of the Colloquium:  Evolution of the Colloquium In the summer of 1998 Linda lends Jonathan her car in Snowmass, Colorado at an EMF workshop Jonathan repays loan with a fabulous dinner at Krabloonik – combination dog sledding operation and restaurant (very interdisciplinary establishment!) They discuss good wines (and climate and health) over dinner The rest is history! Reflects importance of diverse activities for formulating interdisciplinary programs First Colloquium :  First Colloquium Held in summer 2004 – a broad overview of health-climate topics (heat waves, air pollution, vector-borne disease). Second Colloquium Focus on Vector-born Disease:  Second Colloquium Focus on Vector-born Disease Organizing Committee: Kris Ebi, Exponent Consulting Sandy Johnson, U. Denver Linda Mearns, NCAR Johnathan Patz, U. Wisconsin Evolution of the Colloquium:  Evolution of the Colloquium Part of the NCAR Weather and Climate Impacts Assessment Science Program (www.assessment.ucar.edu) Developed in 2001-2002 Program Development set up to promote more integrated research at NCAR Slide7:  www.assessment.ucar.edu Weather and Climate Impact Assessment Science Program :  Weather and Climate Impact Assessment Science Program Climate and Health Program Development Composed of three elements: www.assessment.ucar.edu Extreme Weather and Climate Events Characterizing Uncertainty in Impact Assessment Science Climate/Health Component :  Climate/Health Component Climate/health issues integrate well with other two parts of the Program. Both temperature and precipitation extremes are important contributors to problems in human health Many important issues of uncertainty in attribution of climate as a cause of health problems (e.g., vector-borne disease) Extremes :  Extremes Summer 2003 heat wave in Europe Anomalously High Precipitation:  Anomalously High Precipitation High June Precipitation and West Nile Virus in Colorado (2004) ‘West Nile is in county skeeters’ Boulder Daily Camera, July 13, 2006 High precipitation and warm weather Why Climate and Health ?:  Why Climate and Health ? Human Health is one of the less well-developed impacts areas Impacts area to which people are very sensitive (in risk analysis parlance, has a high dread factor). Why Climate and Health ?:  Why Climate and Health ? A highly complex impact area that requires a very high level of interdisciplinary from the very start (climate,weather, biology, public health, economics, policy) Evidence that climate and weather information has not always been properly integrated into studies. Slide14:  Need for Health/Climate/Environment Programs Specific recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences Report of the Committee on Climate, Ecosystems, Infectious Disease, and Human Health, 2001. Slide15:  Need for Health/Climate/Environment Programs Research on the linkages between climate and infectious diseases must be strengthened. Research on climate and infectious diseases requires interdisciplinary collaboration. Recommends educational programs for health workers that explore environmental and socio-economic factors. Specific Recommendations from the CEIDH Report Slide16:  Need for Health/Climate/Environment Programs Inclusion of new section on environmental (including climate) factors in the Institute of Medicine Report on Microbial Threats to Health, 2003. Slide17:  Climate/Health Program Interdisciplinary Community Integrated Approach Physical Hydrology Oceanography Climatology Social Public Health Demography Economics Sociology Biological Ecology Entomology Microbiology Mamology Observation Monitoring Surveillance Analytical Studies Modeling and Prediction Design Analysis Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Data Rescue and Archive Slide18:  Program Elements: Establishment of a formal post-doctoral program at NCAR for health researchers, and climatologists interested in health problems Formal scholarly exchanges between NCAR and others institutions, such as U. Michigan, U. Wisconsin, the Center for Disease Control (e.g., summer visits at NCAR).. Visitor program for policy makers and public health workers to become more informed regarding climate and human health interactions. Long Term Goal: Full Climate/Health Program Emphasizing Education Slide19:  Bi-annual Educational Colloquium on Climate and Human Health Short Term Goal: or what we can afford right now Progression of Climate and Health in the Reports of the IPCC:  Progression of Climate and Health in the Reports of the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – established by WMO and UNEP - to assess the scientific and socio-economic information on climate change Development of Climate and Health in the Reports of the IPCC:  Development of Climate and Health in the Reports of the IPCC First, 1990 – no chapter on subject – treatment of heat stress, vague statements on infectious disease Second, 1995 – separate chapter – inclusion of direct and indirect effects; emphasized role of socioeconomic factors Third, 2001 – explicitly addresses methodological difficulties in attribution of causation to climate when many factors present Fourth, 2007 -- more focus on current impacts – very difficult attribution problem The Joys and Challenges of Being an Interdisciplinarian :  The Joys and Challenges of Being an Interdisciplinarian What you need to know Impediments to Interdisciplinarity:  Impediments to Interdisciplinarity Accusations of superficiality by disciplinarians Inhospitable institutional structures Difficulties in communicating across disciplines (‘death by acronym’) Inadequate or non-existent reward systems Inadequate or hostile funding mechanisms Status in Climate and Health:  Status in Climate and Health Interdisciplinary journals exist (e.g Global Environmental Change and Health – which became Ecohealth: Conservation Medicine, Human Health, and Sustainable Ecology) Status in Climate and Health 2:  Status in Climate and Health 2 Interdisciplinary funding programs (e.g., NOAA, NASA). Interdisciplinary programs at Universities (U. Michigan, U. Wisconsin, Columbia). But, reward systems still inadequate. Federal agency cooperation needs further development. What you need to know and do :  What you need to know and do You do not need to become an expert in three or more different fields. But, you do need to understand basic issues in fields adjacent to your focus – read a great deal now while you have time! Work closely and actively with experts in the adjacent fields. Become part of and help build the interdisciplinary community Goals of the Colloquium:  Goals of the Colloquium Provide overviews of relevant fields Gain further appreciation for the complexity of interactions Gain more familiarity with social vulnerability perspective Provide hands-on tutorials with tools for use in climate-health research Promote interaction across disciplines Slide28:  … And Have FUN!

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