28 April 2014 EESI/EarthTalks Seminar
4 PM, 112 Walker

Driving disease transmission models with climate models … angels or fools?

Dr. Andy Morse
Professor of Climate Impacts, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

The use of climate data from all sources is underdeveloped in the field of health, particularly for infectious diseases and especially those that are vector borne including malaria.  If we consider the development of agrometeorology and hydrometeorology which are subdisciplines one biological-meteorological the other has two physical sciences joined, we do not have an equivalent for health notably for infectious disease.  The health-climate nexus is a key grand challenge and needs to be supported in its development.

Do fools rush in where angels fear to tread?  The use of climate data especially climate model data for future projections are major challenges for most impacts users.  Driving disease transmission models with these climate model data sets have been developed by the team in Liverpool over the last 15 years.  The paper will discuss examples especially in the prediction of malaria using the Liverpool Malaria Model.

Although climate is only one factor in the transmission of vector borne disease, by working with experts in region then parameters can be set and local knowledge applied to the interpretation of modelling results.

The inspiration is the line 'Fools rush in where angels fear to tread' from Part III of Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism published in 1711.