Impact of climate change on health: what is required of climate modellers?
Huntingford C., Hemming D., Gash JHC., Gedney N., Nuttall PA.
The potential impacts of climate change on human health are significant, ranging from direct effects such as heat stress and flooding, to indirect influences including changes in disease transmission and malnutrition in response to increased competition for crop and water resources. Development agencies and policy makers tasked with implementing adaptive strategies recognize the need to plan for these impacts. However at present there is little guidance on how to prioritize their funding to best improve the resilience of vulnerable communities. Here we address this issue by arguing that closer collaboration between the climate modelling and health communities is required to provide the focused information necessary to best inform policy makers. The immediate requirement is to create multidisciplinary research teams bringing together skills in both climate and health modelling. This will enable considerable information exchange, and closer collaboration will highlight current uncertainties and hopefully routes to their reduction. We recognize that climate is only one aspect influencing the highly complex behaviour of health and disease issues. However we are optimistic that climate-health model simulations, including uncertainty bounds, will provide much needed estimates of the likely impacts of climate change on human health.