Climate change Quantifying the health impact at national and local levels

  • Campbell-Lendrum D
  • Woodruff R
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Abstract

he guidance presented here therefore outlines a general approach, and describes how the methods that were applied in the World Health Organization global comparative risk assessment project, and a regional assessment in Australasia, can be "down-scaled" to the national or sub-national level. It also highlights where further research is likely to improve the assessment. It should therefore be useful in generating preliminary estimates of some of the health effects of climate change, and as a guide to developing more comprehensive and accurate assessment in the future. The general approach consists of; (i) Selecting an appropriate set of scenarios of alternative possible futures (e.g. lower or higher rates of emissions of greenhouse gases, population growth etc.), and the timescale over which to carry out the assessment; (ii) Mapping the corresponding projected changes in climate properties; (iii) Identifying the range of health outcomes that are both climate-sensitive and important in public health terms within the assessment population; (iv) Quantifying the relationship between climate and each health outcome; (v) Linking the exposure measurement to the climate-health model; and (vi) using this information to calculate the climate change attributable burden of specific diseases.Subsequent sections describe assessment methods that were used in the previous global and regional assessments, for a range of climate-sensitive health outcomes. These are deaths in thermal extremes, deaths in coastal and inland floods, and disease burdens from malaria and diarrhoea. A detailed step-by-step example is given for the Australasian assessment.

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Authors

  • Diarmid H Campbell-Lendrum

  • Rosalie Woodruff

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