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Downscaling climate information for local disease mapping

Last modified October 23, 2006 17:24

Bernardi, M., Gommes, R., Grieser, J. Downscaling climate information for local disease mapping Parassitologia Volume 48, Issue 1-2, June 2006, Pages 69-72

Bernardi, M., Gommes, R., Grieser, J. Downscaling climate information for local disease mapping Parassitologia Volume 48, Issue 1-2, June 2006, Pages 69-72

Abstract - The study of the impacts of climate on human health requires the interdisciplinary efforts of health professionals, climatologists, biologists, and social scientists to analyze the relationships among physical, biological, ecological, and social systems. As the disease dynamics respond to variations in regional and local climate, climate variability affects every region of the world and the diseases are not necessarily limited to specific regions, so that vectors may become endemic in other regions. Climate data at local level are thus essential to evaluate the dynamics of vector-borne disease through health-climate models and most of the times the climatological databases are not adequate. Climate data at high spatial resolution can be derived by statistical downscaling using historical observations but the method is limited by the availability of historical data at local level. Since the 90s1, the statistical interpolation of climate data has been an important priority of the Agrometeorology Group of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as they are required for agricultural planning and operational activities at the local level. Since 1995, date of the first FAO spatial interpolation software for climate data, more advanced applications have been developed such as SEDI (Satellite Enhanced Data Interpolation) for the downscaling of climate data, LOCCLIM (Local Climate Estimator) and the NEW_LOCCLIM in collaboration with the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Weather Service) to estimate climatic conditions at locations for which no observations are available. In parallel, an important effort has been made to improve the FAO climate database including at present more than 30,000 stations worldwide and expanding the database from developing countries coverage to global coverage.

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