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. 2016 Aug 9;13(8):804.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph13080804.

Working With Climate Projections to Estimate Disease Burden: Perspectives From Public Health

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Free PMC article

Working With Climate Projections to Estimate Disease Burden: Perspectives From Public Health

Kathryn C Conlon et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

There is interest among agencies and public health practitioners in the United States (USA) to estimate the future burden of climate-related health outcomes. Calculating disease burden projections can be especially daunting, given the complexities of climate modeling and the multiple pathways by which climate influences public health. Interdisciplinary coordination between public health practitioners and climate scientists is necessary for scientifically derived estimates. We describe a unique partnership of state and regional climate scientists and public health practitioners assembled by the Florida Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) program. We provide a background on climate modeling and projections that has been developed specifically for public health practitioners, describe methodologies for combining climate and health data to project disease burden, and demonstrate three examples of this process used in Florida.

Keywords: adaptation; attributable fraction; climate modeling; project disease burden; public health.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
The annual trend in global temperature (°C), expressed as a departure from 1901 to 2000 average [10].
Figure 2
Figure 2
Schematic illustration of a global circulation model. From National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) [21].
Figure 3
Figure 3
Comparison of historical simulations and future projections from the 10 downscaled models used in the Florida case studies (see Table 1): (a) 5-year running mean of Florida’s average annual maximum surface air temperature (Tmax in °C) from observations for 1969–2000 (thick black line) and from the 10 downscaled model simulations for the historical (1969–2000) and future (2039–2070) projection periods; (b) projected change, arranged from least to greatest, in Florida’s average annual Tmax (°C) from (1969–2000) to (2039–2070).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Mean change in annual number of days with a maximum temperature exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) projected between 2039–2070 and 1969–2000 for each of the 10 models used in the Florida case studies (see Table 1), arranged from least to greatest change.
Figure 5
Figure 5
The process used by the Florida BRACE Program for developing disease burden projections. Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Monthly standardized precipitation index (SPI) values were estimated across six National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) climate regions.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Daily maximum temperatures were determined across six National Weather Service (NWS) regions.
Figure 8
Figure 8
Estimated rate ratios of heat-related illness for temperatures, relative to the 88 °F threshold, for six Florida National Weather Service (NWS) regions and statewide.
Figure 9
Figure 9
Estimated excess number of heat-related illness by downscaled Florida regional climate model for six Florida regions.

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