Climate and Weather Impacts on Human Health and Food Security

Modeling the Impact of Climate on Infectious Disease Transmission and Human Health
It is thought that meningitis transmission is facilitated by dust particles transported during strong wind events like the one shown in this satellite image taken over West Africa. RAL scientists have developed a prototype decision support system that integrates weather and health data to provide information that can be used to contain the spread of meningitis epidemics. (Image courtesy NASA).
It is thought that meningitis transmission is facilitated by dust particles transported during strong wind events like the one shown in this satellite image taken over West Africa. RAL scientists have developed a prototype decision support system that integrates weather and health data to provide information that can be used to contain the spread of meningitis epidemics. (Image courtesy NASA).

Physical and social scientists within RAL are researching the complex interactions among climate processes, ecosystems, and human health in order to understand and model climate impacts on human health. Climatic factors such as rainfall, flooding and drought are linked to infectious diseases such as human plague, dengue fever and meningitis.  Urban heat waves elevate the vulnerability of large populations to heat–related illness. As global warming continues during this century, weather extremes (such as flooding, droughts, and heat waves) are expected to increase in many regions of the globe where humans are already vulnerable to climate–related health risks.

RAL scientists are addressing the need to comprehensively understand current and future health risks associated with climate. Projects in RAL are aimed at synthesizing the climatic, ecological and social factors that impact human health in order to model climate–related health risks.  Health officials, urban planners, and local governments will use this information to identify populations vulnerable to elevated health risks, and take necessary action.

Search through all publications in NCAR's OpenSky Library.

Climate and Weather Impacts on Human Health and Food Security