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A Stitch in Time: Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change

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A Stitch in Time: Adaptation to
Climate Variability and Change
Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., MPH
Krisebi@gmail.com
July 2006
Vulnerability
• The degree to which individuals and systems
are susceptible to or unable to cope with the
adverse effects of climate variability and
change. Vulnerability is a function of:
– Sensitivity to changes in weather and climate
(exposure-response relationship), including
population characteristics
– Exposure
– Adaptation baseline
Adaptation
Actions taken by individuals, institutions,
and governments
• Anticipatory
– Actions taken in advance of climate change effects
• Responsive
The severity of impacts will depend on the
capacity to adapt and its effective deployment
Vulnerability and Adaptation
Ebi et al. 2005
Adaptation Baseline
• What is being done now to reduce the
burden of disease? How effective are these
policies and measures?
• What could be done now to reduce current
vulnerability? What are the main barriers to
implementation?
• What measures should begin to be
implemented to increase the range of
possible future interventions?
Why Not Just React to Climate
Change as It Happens?
• Long time frame and uncertainties with
climate change make anticipating
adaptation difficult
• There may be irreversible and catastrophic
impacts that cannot be mitigated
• Opportunities to mitigate climate change
impacts through anticipation may be missed
Difficulty with Anticipating
Climate Change and its Impacts
•
•
•
•
Direction
Magnitude
Timing
Path
Questions for Designing
Adaptation Policies & Measures
• Adaptation to what?
• What are the future projections for the outcome?
Who is vulnerable?
• On scale relevant for adaptation
• Is additional intervention needed?
– Modifying existing prevention measures
– Reinstitute effective prevention programs that
have been neglected or abandoned
– New risks
• Who adapts? How does adaptation occur?
• When should interventions be implemented?
• How good or likely is the adaptation?
Remove Your Tie – Save the Planet
Japan Times 30 April 2005
Beniston, M., 2000: Environmental Change
in Mountains and Uplands, Arnold, London
Change in T relative to 1961-1990 [В°C]
Global and Alpine
Temperatures 1901-2000
1.5
Global
1
Alps
0.5
0
-0.5
-1
-1.5
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
Courtesy: Max Maisch
University of ZГјrich, Switzerland
Glacier Retreat:
Tschierva Glacier, Engadine
+3В°C?
2000
2050?
Tam Pokhari 3 Sept 1998
Photo: Danek ~1997
Source: Dwivedi 2003
Flood From Tam Pokhari
Photos: Lakpa GЕ“ljen Sherpa 1998
Source: Dwivedi 2003)
Potential for Glacial Lake
Outbursts: Bhutan
Glacier
Glacier lake
Lake that
poses
a threat
Beniston 2004
Ganges Discharge at Calcutta
40000
Discharge [m3/s]
35000
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
Average discharge
Failing monsoon,
with glacier meltwaters
Failing monsoon,
without glacier meltwaters
5000
0
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Beniston 2004
Integration of Public Health with
Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons
Learned and New Directions
Editors: Ebi, Smith, Burton
Taylor & Francis 2005
• What modifications to public health systems might
be necessary to enhance adaptive capacity to
climate variability and change?
• What lessons can be drawn from the history of
managing environmental and other threats that
can be applied to adaptation to climate variability
and change?
Adaptation is a Process that
Requires Sustained Commitment
• It is easy for societies to become complacent
and assume that problems are solved forever,
and to not maintain efforts to monitor for
the emergence or re-emergence of problems,
or evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of
solutions
• Continuous monitoring and regular
evaluation of interventions are needed
because health risks and their drivers change
over time
Distribution of Aedes aegypti
in the Americas
Emergence of Dengue
Hemorrhagic Fever in the
Americas
Need to Understand the Multiple
and Interacting Determinants of
Disease
• Climate change may exacerbate or ameliorate
disease determinants, with the possibility that
thresholds may be encountered
• Increased understanding of the impacts of
climate variability is likely to facilitate
adaptation to future climatic conditions
Climate Change and Malaria under
Different Scenarios (2080)
• Increase: East Africa, Central Asia, Russian Federation
• Decrease: Central America, Amazon [within current vector
limits]
Van Lieshout et al. 2004
C h an ge o f co nse cutive m on th s
A1
> +2
+2
A2
-2
< -2
B1
B2
Van Lieshout et al. 2004
Average % Deviation in
Malaria Cases, Colombia
Deviation From Trend in Malaria Cases (%)
25
15
5
0
-5
-15
-25
NiГ±o+1
NiГ±o0
Bouma et al. Tropical Medicine and International Health 1997;2:1122-1127
Other Years
(1960-1992)
Disease Determinants
• Climate change is one of many factors
influencing human health and social well-being
• Public health challenges presented by climate
change need to be addressed within the
context of issues such as inadequate nutrition,
access to clean water and sanitation, and
diseases such as HIV/AIDS
• Poverty a major underlying factor
Campylobacteriosis
Notifications, New Zealand
Campylobacteriosis in New
Zealand (Weinsten & Woodward 2005)
• Campylobacteriosis is an “emerging” human
gastrointestinal disease, with a dramatic
increase in cases in the last few decades
• In New Zealand, natural vegetation was
replaced with pastoral farming
• This increased sources for disease (animal
waste) and reduced the ability of natural
vegetation to remove the wastes from runoff
• This has resulted in contamination of half of
New Zealand’s rivers and streams
Multiple Political, Social, Economic,
Technological, and Human Factors
Determine Whether Measures Are
Effective
• Effective interventions are embedded in an
understanding of human factors and are
tailored to address local situations
• Also, maladaptation and unintended
consequences of interventions can occur in
many different ways
Or • Differences in culture, education,
knowledge, availability and affordability of
technology, and other factors means that a
“one size fits all” approached is likely to fail
Surveillance and Early Warning
Systems Can Reduce Vulnerability
Maximum
Temperature
10 August
2003
Heat Watch/Warning Systems Save
Lives: Estimated Costs and Benefits for
Philadelphia 1995-1998
Ebi et al. BAMS 2004
• Heatwaves defined as days categorized as
maritime tropical or dry tropical
– Included 3 days following a heatwave day
– 45 days included in analysis; 21 warning days and
24 days following a warning
• Mortality for 65 and older age group
• Analysis based on excess mortality
– Difference between reported mortality and
underlying mortality trend estimated from years
prior to 1995 (1964-66, 1973-76, 1968, 1980-88)
• Data analyzed using linear regression
Results
• Excess Mortality = 3.27 – 0.05*Time of Season –
2.6*Warning Indicator
– When a warning was issued, assuming no mortality
displacement, 2.6 lives were saved, on average, for each
warning day and for the three following days
– Therefore, PWWS saved an estimated 117 lives over the
period 1995-1998
• Net benefits around $468 million over the threeyear period
– Estimated the value of a statistical life at $4 million
– Most of the actions undertaken by city of Philadelphia do
not have direct costs; they include actions taken by city
employees as a normal part of their jobs, actions taken by
volunteers, and delayed actions; estimated costs of
$10,000 per day
Collaboration and Coordination is
Required: Potential Transmission of
Schistosomiasis, Jiangsu Province
Yang et al., 2005
Underlying Theme
• There is a need to establish an institutional
structure with the responsibility to maintain
vigilance in responding to climate variability and
change, and to commit sufficient resources on an
ongoing basis to identify and respond to problems
– Effective interventions rarely result from a one-off solution
– The consequences of a less than effective intervention can
be severe in terms of human disease and death
Adaptations Should
• Make sense anyway
– And make even more sense considering climate change
– Policies that reduce vulnerability to climate variability will
generally reduce risk to climate change
• Be flexibility and efficiency
– Perform well under a variety of climates (current climate,
hotter and drier, hotter and wetter)
– Consider benefits under current climate and timing of
climate change benefits
• Be efficient (have marginal adjustments and low cost)
• “No regrets”
Pohnpei 1997-98
Thank You
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