development for health in the context of global climate change seems focused on the health implications of climate change, but it more broadly extends to the entire health community. To understand how climate change will impact health in the future, scientists have to understand the ways in which climate change and climate variability affect health in the present, and then project how those impacts will be felt. Part of that involves understanding what the future world will look like in terms of incidence and prevalence of conditions that convey vulnerability to climate change health impacts, noting that climate change acts as a force multiplier or as an additional stressor on top of existing stressors to global populations.
Balbus noted that the scientific community is engaging in international efforts to understand the impacts of climate change broadly, and the health impacts of climate change more specifically to improve existing models. In order to do this, scientists need to be able to produce rigorous scenarios of the future to support these predictive efforts and models.
Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Kristie Ebi’s presentation provided a historical overview of climate change scenarios, and the process for developing new climate change scenarios. Scenarios have a long history in climate change science, often led by the integrated assessment and climate modeling community. The integrated assessment modeling community coordinates its research and analysis through the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium,1
1 The Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC) is an organization of scientific research organizations. The IAMC was created in 2007 in response to a call from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for a research organization to lead the integrated assessment modeling community in the development of new scenarios that could be employed by climate modelers in the development of prospective ensemble numerical experiments for both the near term and long terms. More information is available at http://www.globalchange.umd.edu/iamc (accessed September 3, 2013).