“Health effects from climate change will stem from increased temperatures, irregular distribution of precipitation, air pollution and infectious diseases,’’ warns an academic paper from Dr Peng Bi, from the Department of Public Health, at the University of Adelaide.
Published in the January issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health (AJRH), the paper predicts altered weather patterns will bring changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases, such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viral infections, food-borne diseases and variations in daily mortality and hospitalisation rates, emergency department visits and the use of ambulances services.
“Studying the effects of climate change in Australian rural and remote regions is extremely important because of the unequal access to health care systems by those who live there. Moreover, most of the country’s Indigenous people live in remote regions and they could be more vulnerable as a direct result of global warming,’’ Dr Bi wrote.
The paper, jointly researched with Professor Kevin Parton from the School of Rural Management at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, predicts climate change will affect the eco-system to trigger extreme events such as heatwaves, droughts, flooding, cyclones and landslides. This will impact on food production by disrupting agricultural cycles.
“Australian society, especially rural regions, is becoming more vulnerable to natural disasters, at least in terms of economic costs, and these disasters are primarily climate-related. Rural and remote regions play an important role in the nation in terms of crops and pastoral production, biodiversity, environmental security and heritage protection,’’ the paper says.
It suggests a broader approach needs to be taken to identify impact scenarios across a number of indicators, including agricultural and food productivity, population health and social/economic development.
Furthermore, the paper says identifying and exploring relevant adaptation and mitigation strategies will be crucial for planners to gain a clearer understanding of the overall impact of climate change on regional Australia.
“Such responses might include changes in physical structure of resource management systems like reservoirs, changes in the operation of these systems, a range of socio-economic actions such as pricing and marketing mechanisms, community education and health promotion campaigns.’’
The results from such integrated study will expand existing knowledge and provide important information to government agencies and local communities for policy making, sustainable development planning and local community education campaigns to mitigate adverse consequences.
The AHRH Editorial, written by Dr Grant Blashki, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, says the health system will need to monitor and respond to the threat of infectious diseases in some vulnerable regions and also provide support for communities that are likely to bear the brunt of more frequent droughts in coming decades.
“A particular challenge will be to support those communities most vulnerable to climate change, which tends to coincide with regions already under-serviced such as rural and regional areas. Mounting an appropriate adaptive response to climate change will require strong and sustained support of Australia’s rural health workforce,’’ Dr Blashki warns.
This paper is published in the February 2008 issue of Australian Journal of Rural Health. Media wishing to receive a PDF or schedule media interviews with the authors should contact Alina Boey, PR & Communications Manager Asia at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 613-83591046.
Alina Boey | alfa
New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia
New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences