Climatic Change

, Volume 118, Issue 3–4, pp 625–640 | Cite as

Climate change and infectious diseases: Can we meet the needs for better prediction?

  • Xavier Rodó
  • Mercedes Pascual
  • Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes
  • Alexander Gershunov
  • Dáithí A. Stone
  • Filippo Giorgi
  • Peter J. Hudson
  • James Kinter
  • Miquel-Àngel Rodríguez-Arias
  • Nils Ch. Stenseth
  • David Alonso
  • Javier García-Serrano
  • Andrew P. Dobson
Article

Abstract

The next generation of climate-driven, disease prediction models will most likely require a mechanistically based, dynamical framework that parameterizes key processes at a variety of locations. Over the next two decades, consensus climate predictions make it possible to produce forecasts for a number of important infectious diseases that are largely independent of the uncertainty of longer-term emissions scenarios. In particular, the role of climate in the modulation of seasonal disease transmission needs to be unravelled from the complex dynamics resulting from the interaction of transmission with herd immunity and intervention measures that depend upon previous burdens of infection. Progress is also needed to solve the mismatch between climate projections and disease projections at the scale of public health interventions. In the time horizon of seasons to years, early warning systems should benefit from current developments on multi-model ensemble climate prediction systems, particularly in areas where high skill levels of climate models coincide with regions where large epidemics take place. A better understanding of the role of climate extremes on infectious diseases is urgently needed.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Rodó
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mercedes Pascual
    • 3
    • 13
  • Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander Gershunov
    • 4
  • Dáithí A. Stone
    • 5
  • Filippo Giorgi
    • 6
  • Peter J. Hudson
    • 7
  • James Kinter
    • 8
  • Miquel-Àngel Rodríguez-Arias
    • 2
  • Nils Ch. Stenseth
    • 9
  • David Alonso
    • 10
  • Javier García-Serrano
    • 2
  • Andrew P. Dobson
    • 11
    • 12
  1. 1.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institut Català de Ciències del Clima (IC3)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical OceanographyScripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA
  5. 5.Scientific Computing Group, Berkeley Lab Computing SciencesLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  6. 6.Earth System Physics Section, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly
  7. 7.Center for Infectious Disease DynamicsPenn State UniversityPennsylvaniaUSA
  8. 8.Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere StudiesInstitute of Global Environment and SocietyCalvertonUSA
  9. 9.Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of BioscienceUniversity of OsloBlindern,Norway
  10. 10.Center for Advanced Studies-Blanes, CSICBlanesSpain
  11. 11.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  12. 12.Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA
  13. 13.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteChevy ChaseUSA

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