Unfortunately the term “climate change” has been so distorted by political agendas and rhetoric that it no long has any usefulness as a “meta-narrative” term within science or even to explain disease migration. “Climate change” is a vacuous term and perhaps the term itself is the hoax. This label should be abandoned along with “denier”, “skeptic, and all of the other silly terms. (I am starting to prefer “climate changes” as a better “meta-narrative term.)
The dynamics of interactions between microorganisms (pathogens or not) and climate mentioned in this article are not new. (There is nothing new under the sun.) They are not “emerging.” Our understanding of them is improving, they are new to us, and therefore are perceived by the researchers to be “emerging”. An improved understanding is beneficial. But the underlying factors affecting spatial variability of microorganisms have been in existence for a long long time regardless of whether we understand them.
Wang Y, Rao Y, Wu X, Zhao H, Chen J. A method for screening climate change-sensitive infectious diseases. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015 Jan 14;12(1):767-83. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120100767.
Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to human health, especially where infectious diseases are involved. Because of the complex interactions between climate variables and infectious disease components (i.e., pathogen, host and transmission environment), systematically and quantitatively screening for infectious diseases that are sensitive to climate change is still a challenge. To address this challenge, we propose a new statistical indicator, Relative Sensitivity, to identify the difference between the sensitivity of the infectious disease to climate variables for two different climate statuses (i.e., historical climate and present climate) in non-exposure and exposure groups. The case study in Anhui Province, China has demonstrated the effectiveness of this Relative Sensitivity indicator. The application results indicate significant sensitivity of many epidemic infectious diseases to climate change in the form of changing climatic variables, such as temperature, precipitation and absolute humidity. As novel evidence, this research shows that absolute humidity has a critical influence on many observed infectious diseases in Anhui Province, including dysentery, hand, foot and mouth disease, hepatitis A, hemorrhagic fever, typhoid fever, malaria, meningitis, influenza and schistosomiasis. Moreover, some infectious diseases are more sensitive to climate change in rural areas than in urban areas. This insight provides guidance for future health inputs that consider spatial variability in response to climate change.
Click here for paper (Open Access).