The international medical journal The Lancet publishes regularly on climate change and health. The Lancet’s 2009 Series on the public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions was produced by an international collaboration of scientists, and together with other climate and health research, can be downloaded here.
The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University conducts research on the links between climatic conditions and various health outcomes.
The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus brings researchers together in a national interdisciplinary effort to generate information about how to manage climate change impacts in vulnerable sectors and communities.
The National Adaptation Research Plan for Human Health is available here.
CSIRO: Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health Collaboration Cluster – this partnership between CSIRO, Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and University of Queensland’s School of Integrative Biology focuses on heat stress, food security and safety, air quality, and the changing risk posed by vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever due to climate change.
Children and climate change
Children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, affirms a study from NZ, recently published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. The study’s authors (which includes the convenor of OraTaiao, the NZ climate and health alliance) calls on child health professionals to seize opportunities to prevent climate change, improve child health and reduce inequalities, and suggest key steps that child health professionals could take.
The Australian health sector and climate change
Preparing the health sector for climate change requires investment in personnel, infrastructure and coordination, according to researchers at the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. This Discussion Paper, available online here, outlines a framework for planning to deal with the unpredictable but potentially dramatic effects of climate change on human health and therefore for national health service planning and health service provision.
Climate change will place increasing burdens on the health sector and on health professionals, say researchers Weaver, Blashki, Capon and McMichael in this 2010 article in Australian Health Review. More research is needed to evaluate and monitor health effects, improved environmental performance of health care institutions, along with education of health professionals to better equip them to deal with climate risk. To view the abstract, click here.
Former Director of the Centre for Health Assets Australasia, Associate Professor Jane Carthey, researched the effects of climate change on health care infrastructure. This presentation offers an insight into this research into the effect of severe weather events on human health, health services and health infrastructure – see more here.
Policy Paper on Research underway
CAHA is developing a Position Paper on Research – looking at the research agenda for climate and health in Australia. This paper will consider Australia’s research needs gaps in terms of climate and health – what do we need to know to assist Australia in prepare and manage the effects of climate change and work to prevent further climate change?
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