Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

Climate change 2001: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

The third IPCC assessment report, Climate Change 2001, includes this section on the links between climate change and health. It offers a detailed look at how variations in climate, such as temperature or rainfall, could affect vector-borne disease. In particular, it evaluates computer models that predict climate impact on dengue fever and malaria. The assessment also looks at specific diseases such as leishmaniasis or schistosomiasis, explaining how the disease is spread and how changes in the environment might alter that spread.

The authors take a holistic look at the various factors involved. For example, in assessing schistosomiasis, they also consider the irrigation systems that will likely be needed to cope with expected water shortages resulting from climate change. The schistosomiasis parasite uses water snails as an intermediate host, so irrigation systems will need to be designed in such a way that they do not cause snail populations to multiply.

An update to the research on climate and vector-borne disease is also included in the fourth IPCC assessment report[796kB] although not in as much detail.