Introduction

Biometeorology has a long tradition in the biophysical sciences, and has for sometime focused on what are essentially reductionist questions in its various subfields, with less thought given by its practioners to the relevance of its science to society at large. Biometeorologists have begun to reflect upon the utility of their science, as society has demanded greater accountability on the societal value of their outputs. In particular, questions such as how can an understanding of the...

Human Adaptation within a Paradigm of Climatic Determinism and Change

Among all the factors which influence people's modes of life the most dominant are climate and stage of culture already obtained. Ellsworth Huntington, Mainsprings of Civilization 1945 281 One must seek to understand climate in the light of what mankind can perceive, understand and adapt to. Ken Hare, SCOPE 271985 2.1 .we simply cannot say how the patterns of natural and human induced change might cancel or reinforce each other at the regional and local level over coming decades and centuries....

References

Adger, W.N., Arnell, N. and Tompkins, E. (2005) Adapting to climate change perspectives across scales, Global Environmental Change 15, 75-76. Badenschier, F. and Schmitt, S. (2006) A Sun Ambrella for the Great Barrier Reef. Speigel Online, 7 November 2006. Barnes, B. (2002) The heat wave vacation. The Wall Street Journal 2 August, W1 Becken, S. (2004) Climate Change and Tourism in Fiji. Vulnerability, Adaptation and Mitigation. Final Report. Suva, Fiji, University of the South Pacific....

Rhinitis and Conjunctivitis

Allergic rhinitis is a symptomatic disorder of the nose induced by an IgE-mediated inflammation of the nasal membranes in response to allergen exposure. Symptoms of rhinitis include rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, nasal itching and sneezing which will be cured spontaneously or with treatment. The severity of allergic rhinitis can be classified as mild or moderate-severe (Fig. 5.1) based on symptoms and quality of life parameters. Fig. 5.1 Classification of allergic rhinitis normal sleep & no...

The Evaluation of Thermal Stress

There is robust literature (Kovats and Koppe 2005) associating what is generally termed oppressive heat with some negative health consequence. However, the means by which oppressive is defined varies widely (Watts and Kalkstein 2004) accordingly, the HHWWS that have been developed across the world in recent years have utilized a diversity of methods. Each of these methods has their respective strengths and weaknesses. The utilization of a temperature threshold is perhaps the simplest of all...

Cognitive Mediating Processes

Once initiated by the information about a weather or climate event, the threat and adjustment coping appraisal processes will begin. These parallel processes and the psychological biases that can affect them largely occur automatically, outside of awareness, and without much contribution of rational, and deliberative processing (Kihlstrom 1987). A variety of cognitive, social, and decision-making biases can influence the cognitive mediating processes of the PMT model (and similar components in...

Psychological Conceptions of Adaptation

The adaptation to weather and climate encompasses several related psychological constructs. Overall, psychological adaptation refers both to the processes (i.e., adjustment and coping) and to the outcomes of attempting to respond effectively to variations in the environment, which here concerns weather and climate. Adaptation generally refers to the adjustment of psychological processes (cognition, affect, and behaviours) so that they reflect environmental demands and are responsive to them...

Technological Adaptive Measures

A major tenet in water management is that input reduction is the first choice in efforts to extend water resources. The largest gains will be made in agriculture and industry, which are the biggest water users. In agriculture, irrigation accounts for most of the water used. Micro-irrigation, or drip irrigation, is a good example of an adaptive measure. Water is conveyed to crops by pipes instead of open ditches or spray devices that encourage evaporation. This method is especially effective in...

Constant Climate Determinism

Climate change has been of scholarly interest since Charles Darwin's (1859) writings on the causes of evolution of species. To the natural scientist, however, the issue over the following century was largely one of evolutionary and geologic time frames the atmospheric environment at a particular location could be considered to be a given constant. In the writings of Hippocrates (circa 400 BC) On Air, Waters and Places, hydrometeor impacts or meteorotropisms could be observed, but resultant...

Projections of the Future Incidence and Geographic Range of Malaria

There has been a great deal of interest in modeling how the incidence and geographic range of malaria could change under different climate change projections. Malaria is a complex disease to model, so no model completely describes the relationships among environmental variables, vector, and parasite. Table 4.2 summarizes recent studies that projected the impacts of climate change on the incidence and geographic range of malaria, including the climate scenarios used. Most of the studies focused...

Effect of Heat Waves on Animals

An aspect of climate change is an increase in severe weather. Significant heat events since the mid 1990s appear to be increasing and have resulted in sizable human and animal mortality. Hahn and Mader (1997), Xin and Puma (2001) and Hahn et al. (2000, 2002) described the impact on livestock from a week long heat wave in the mid-central United States during July 1995 the heat wave also resulted in a significant number of human deaths. That heat wave was estimated to have cost the US cattle...

Creation of a Warning System

Ultimate HHWWS development and the impact of the system on the community is linked with the quality of the message delivery system to both the public and important stakeholders (Bernard and McGeehin 2004). To accomplish this successfully, many current systems have turned to the internet as a way of increasing the speed of communication among all interested parties (Sheridan and Kalkstein 2004). Ideally, meteorological data must be made available in digital form from a forecasting office for at...

Body Heat Animal x Climate Interactions

There are several components to body heat load which can be divided into two broad categories viz. internal or metabolic heat load (ruminal fermentation and nutrient metabolism) and environmental heat load (Armsby and Kriss 1921 Duckworth and Rattray 1946 Shearer and Beede 1990). Metabolic heat load is typically a result of (i) basal body functions (heart, lungs and liver), (ii) maintenance, (iii) activity, and (iv) performance (e.g., daily gain, milk, eggs) (McDowell 1974). Basal body...

Short Term Adaptation

Lives would have been saved if adequate heat-health warning services (HHWS) had been activated in Europe in 2003, as promoted by the WMO WHO UNEP showcase projects in Rome and Shanghai. Such systems are based on biometeorological forecasts (Fig. 2.8) expecting exceeding of an agreed threshold (heat load forecast). The following interventions (based on a locally adjusted emergency response plan) are the responsibility of public health services PHS. HHWSs must be prepared in advance with complete...

Environmental Modifications

Global climate change models predict an increase of heat stress events, as well as general warming in some areas. Therefore, methods that will alleviate the impact of these events should be considered, especially if alternative land use or species breed use is not an option. Beede and Collier (1986) suggest three management options for reducing the effect of thermal stress in cattle which have application for all livestock and poultry. The options are (1) physical modification of the...

Intervention Measures and Public Outreach

No matter how efficient HHWWS are in estimating the health outcome of an excessive heat event, they cannot be successful in saving lives if proper intervention procedures are not in place. Intervention describes the actions taken by local communities whenever excessive heat warnings are issued by the local or regional weather service or health department. For intervention activities to be successful, there must be close stakeholder interaction between a number of agencies assigned with...

Animal Responses to Heat Load

Direct effects involve heat exchanges between the animal and the surrounding environment are related to radiation, temperature, humidity, and wind speed (Johnson 1987). Because the thermal environment is more than just heat, the term heat stress is somewhat misleading. The term heat load has been used to highlight the importance of the interactive effects of the fore-mentioned factors. Within breed, animal variation (phenotypes), differences among breeds (genotypes), management factors such as...

Determining Flowering Timing and Intensity

Considering the seasonal development of allergenic plants, a special attention must be dedicated to early-flowering tree species and herbaceous taxa. For trees, the genera in Fagales (Betula, Alnus, Carya, Corylus, Carpinus, Juglans, Quercus) and the genus mulberry (Moraceae Morus) together with sugi (Taxodiaceae Cryptomeria japonica) in the boreal and temperate zones and olive (Oleaceae Olea) in the Mediterranean climate are among the most common agents of seasonal allergies. Important...

Integration and Adaptation Definition

To return to the European heat wave narrative, continental European summers and the Mediterranean winters are expected to become considerably warmer heat waves are very likely at the < 90 level of confidence to increase in frequency and severity (IPCC 2007). Medical researcher Tony McMichael (2007) is reported I welcome the growing emphasis on the modeling of adaptive strategies to lessen the health risks. Recent evidence from extreme heat waves, cyclones and droughts has shown how widely the...

Protection Motivation Theory An Organizing Framework

Protection Motivation Theory (PMT, see Fig. 10.1) provides a valuable perspective for addressing such questions. PMT was created as a model of disease prevention and health promotion (Floyd et al. 2000 Rogers 1975 Rogers and Prentice-Dunn 1997). The author selected PMT from among other possible models (i.e., the Health Belief Model, Rosenstock 1974 Theory of Reasoned Planned Behaviour, Ajzen 1991) because its variables and hypothesized relationships possess the greatest potential to extend our...

Local and Regional Scale Aspects of Pollen Seasons

Climate is a major determinant of regional seasons of allergenic pollen. In boreal and temperate vegetation zones cold period limits the pollination schedule of plants to certain months, while in warmer climate allergenic pollen may, in addition to periodical peaks, be present in the air all year round (Fang et al. 2001 Hurtado and Alson 1990 Murray et al. 2002 Savitsky and Kobzar 1996). Arid climate may also confine the pollen season to a few months (Halwgay 1994). More specificities arise...

Conclusion Philosophies Responsibilities and Adaptability

Clearly human-atmosphere interrelationships are not simple, and both the well being of people and condition of the indoor and outdoor atmospheric environment, are parts of a multifaceted system that need to be viewed (a) holistically, (b) in terms of probabilities and (c) specific time horizons for (d) particular locations. Over-deterministic expressions of human responses, fail to recognize the power of human perceptions, and their adaptability as the basis for sustainable choices and rational...

Impact of Climate Change on Animal Health

The effects of climate changes and, in particular, global warming on health status of livestock have not been considered with the same attention as given to humans However, it is assumed that as in the case of humans, climate changes can affect the health of livestock and poultry, both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts include temperature-related illness and death, and the morbidity of animals during extreme weather events. Indirect impacts follow more intricate pathways and include those...

The Near Future The Universal Thermal Climate Index UTCI

Although each of the published heat budget models is, in principle, appropriate for use in any kind of assessment of the thermal environment, none of the models is accepted as a fundamental standard, neither by researchers nor by end-users. Fig. 2.4 Acclimatisation related thresholds for example Lisbon 2003 based on the HeRATE approach Koppe and Jendritzky 2005 Fig. 2.4 Acclimatisation related thresholds for example Lisbon 2003 based on the HeRATE approach Koppe and Jendritzky 2005 On the other...