×H5. Climate projections for health researchers

Climate change represents a major challenge to public health and health security in Australia and internationally due to a wide range of direct and indirect impacts on temperature related mortality and morbidity, forest fires, rainfall and air quality patterns, extreme weather events, food and water security, distribution of disease vectors, rising sea levels and human migration. Climate projections are used for assessments of future climate change related health impacts, and there are many different types in use. However, the lack of integration between health research and climate science has restricted understanding of the available climate data and their appropriate use. We will host a guided discussion that will bring together a panel of top experts to provide an overview of climate model outputs and issues that need to be considered when applying projections of future climate in health studies. The discussion will clearly describe strengths and weaknesses of available climate projections, the uncertainty associated with future projections at different spatial and temporal scales, the differences between available downscaling methods (dynamical, statistical downscaling, and simple scaling of global circulation model output), and the implications these have for health research. We will also discuss the importance of selecting representative concentration pathways. This session will highlight some of the challenges in using model projections in health studies and suggest how to effectively address them.

Key topics: Climate projections, Health risk assessment, Exposure modelling, Model downscaling