Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 99–105 | Cite as

Using Uncertain Climate and Development Information in Health Adaptation Planning

  • Kristie L. EbiEmail author
  • Jeremy J. Hess
  • Tania Busch Isaksen
Climate Change and Health (J Semenza, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Climate Change and Health


To aid health adaptation decision-making, there are increasing efforts to provide climate projections at finer temporal and spatial scales. Relying solely on projected climate changes for longer-term decisions makes the implicit assumption that sources of vulnerability other than climate change will remain the same, which is not very probable. Over longer time horizons, this approach likely over estimates the extent to which climate change could alter the magnitude and pattern of health outcomes, introducing systematic bias into health management decisions. To balance this potential bias, decision-makers also need projections of other drivers of health outcomes that are, like climate change, recognized determinants of some disease burdens. Incorporating projections via an iterative process that allows for regular updates based on new knowledge and experience has the potential to improve the utility of fine-scale climate projections in health system adaptation to climate change.


Climate change Health risks Adaptation Risk management Uncertainty 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kristie L. Ebi reports consultation fees from Stratus Consulting (now Abt Consulting), World Health Organization, including its regional offices, Health Canada, Sanofi Pasteur, and Chemonics International Inc.

Jeremy J. Hess reports consultation fees from Stratus Consulting and the Natural Resources Defense Council for scientific consulting and research activities.

Tania Busch Isaksen declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristie L. Ebi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeremy J. Hess
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tania Busch Isaksen
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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