Tackling the Research Challenges of Health and Climate Change

By Glass, Roger; Rosenthal, Joshua et al. | Environmental Health Perspectives, December 2009 | Go to article overview

Tackling the Research Challenges of Health and Climate Change


Glass, Roger, Rosenthal, Joshua, Jessup, Christine M., Birnbaum, Linda, Portier, Chris, Environmental Health Perspectives


The correspondence section is a public forum and, as such, is not peer-reviewed. EHP is not responsible for the accuracy, currency, or reliability of personal opinion expressed herein; it is the sole responsibility of the authors. EHP neither endorses nor disputes their published commentary.

Ebi et al. (2009) presented a timely and important analysis of the federal investment in research focused on understanding, avoiding, preparing for, and adapting to the health impacts of climate variability and change. The authors argued that the public health community is inadequately prepared to address the health risks associated with climate variability and change, and that landing necessary to address this challenge is inadequate. Ebi et al. (2009) were particularly critical of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for overstating its investments in research on the health impacts of climate change, citing a 2007 NIH spending report of $164 million for Health Effects of Climate Change. We would like to respond by highlighting two current activities of the NIH that address these issues: the Trans-NIH Working Group on Climate Change and Health (led by the FIC) and an interagency working group on climate change and health (led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences). Both activities are in midstream, but we plan to have initial products and recommendations available by the fall 2009.

In 2008, a planning group was convened at the NIH to assess the research questions in health and medicine that climate change presents. Sixteen NIH institutes and centers are actively participating in the Trans-NIH Working Group on Climate Change and Health, with coordination from the Fogarty International Center (FIC). The working group is a) analyzing the relevance of the NIH portfolio in this area; b) engaging the biomedical research community in a discussion of the health effects of climate change; and c) identifying research needs and priorities for an NIH research agenda for climate change and health, including the development and evaluation of clinical and public health strategies for adaptation to a changing world.

In January 2009, an interagency working group was formed to identify areas in which strategic research on the linkage between climate change, the environment, and human health could greatly enhance our understanding. Led by the NIEHS, this group was formed to expand the activities of the NIH-focused activity and aid in the coordination of a broader research effort focused on human health for the entire U.S. government research community. The working group is a) examining the research portfolio on the health impacts of climate change across the U.S. government; b) expanding the dialogue among federal agencies to help coordinate the diverse missions of the U.S. government agencies; and c) developing a general conceptual model for research needs to aid in research coordination. The results of this interagency working group, when combined with the Trans-NIH Working Group, will guide the NIH in developing a research portfolio that is science driven and directly relevant to the needs for prevention and intervention to protect human health from climate change.

Assessing the relationship of basic research projects to policy-defined problems is often challenging. For climate change and biomedical research, the challenge is compounded by the complexity of the interaction pathways between climate variables, environmental change, and human health outcomes. Furthermore, concerns over the nature and magnitude of the health threats have changed considerably in the past few years. The figures cited by the NIH for Health Effects of Climate Change in recent years reflected studies that are principally basic human biology related to conditions that are sensitive to climate and atmospheric phenomena, including ultraviolet radiation, To provide an analysis of the NIH portfolio that is more relevant to the current policy concerns with effects of global warming, we are utilizing the new NIH grant fingerprinting technology [Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC)] to capture all the potentially relevant projects, followed by a manual process in which experts from the institutes and centers that administer the grants categorize this diverse pool of projects into three general bins: a) those with a climate change focus, b) those that address climate parameters, and c) those that address human conditions that are climate sensitive. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tackling the Research Challenges of Health and Climate Change
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.