The future of climate epidemiology:opportunities for advancing health research in the context of climate change.



Citation:

Anderson GB, Barnes EA, Bell ML, Dominici F. The future of climate epidemiology:opportunities for advancing health research in the context of climate change. American Journal of Epidemiology 2019;188(5):866-872.

Abstract:

In the coming decades, climate change is expected to dramatically affect communities worldwide, altering the patterns of many ambient exposures and disasters, including extreme temperatures, heat waves, wildfires, droughts, and floods. These exposures, in turn, can affect risks for a variety of human diseases and health outcomes. Climate epidemiology plays an important role in informing policy related to climate change and its threats to public health. Climate epidemiology leverages deep, integrated collaborations between epidemiologists and climate scientists to understand the current and potential future impacts of climate-related exposures on human health. A variety of recent and ongoing developments in climate science are creating new avenues for epidemiologic contributions. Here, we discuss the contributions of climate epidemiology and describe some key current research directions, including research to better characterize uncertainty in climate health projections. We end by outlining 3 developing areas of climate science that are creating opportunities for high-impact epidemiologic advances in the near future: 1) climate attribution studies, 2) subseasonal to seasonal forecasts, and 3) decadal predictions.