A Research Agenda for Managing the Health Risks of Climate Change
The Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine
January 15-16, 2009
National Academy of Sciences
Keck Center, Room 100
500 5th St., NW
VIEW DRAFT AGENDA
The observational evidence of global warming has resulted in increased attention on the impacts of climate variability and change on ecosystems and their member species, including humans. In the past two years, governmental, educational, and non-governmental institutions have catalogued a number of direct and indirect effects of climate change and human health. Climate-related health effects include modifications to the emergence and transmission of infectious disease agents, increasing likelihood and severity of heat waves, exacerbating air pollution, and increasing intensity of hurricanes and other severe storms. For assessing health effects, it is challenging, as climate change does not result in new health risks, but rather is a multiplier of existing health risks.
In the past year, a number of organizations have begun to move beyond listing health effects of climate change toward strengthening the evidence base to inform decisions on how to mitigate and adapt in order to lessen health risks. The result has been the identification of research needs in a variety of health areas, ranging from health effects such as extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. However, these lists of research needs do not form a cohesive research agenda for health. Building on their September 2007 meeting and other organizations’ efforts, the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine will host a workshop to look at the research agenda for climate change and human health. Speakers will be invited to discuss strategies for identifying priority areas for a health research agenda, ensuring scientific responses to unanticipated health outcomes, developing training opportunities for scientists and institutions, and adapting decision-making tools for action.
The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine was established to provide a mechanism for parties interested in environmental health from the academic, industrial, and federal research perspectives to meet and discuss sensitive and difficult environmental health issues of mutual interest in a neutral setting. The purpose is to foster dialogue, but not to provide recommendations.
For more information call (202) 334–2534.