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Appendix C Glossary Abiotic: Nonliving chemical and physical factors in an environment. Agent (of disease): Factor such as a microorganism whose presence is essential for the occurrence of a disease. Anthropogenic: Caused or produced by humans. Circumpolar region: The region that extends above 60oN latitude, borders the Arctic Ocean, and includes all, or the northern parts, of eight nations: the United States (Alaska), Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Russian Federation. Climate: Average meteorological conditions over a specified time period, usually at least a month, resulting from interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface. Climate variations occur over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Climate change: A change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/glossary/ipcc-glossary.pdf). Climate extremes: used to represent weather extremes (see definition below), but viewed over seasons (e.g., droughts), or longer periods (http://downloads. climatescience.gov/sap/sap3-3/sap3-3-final-FrontMaterials.pdf). 253
254 GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS Climate variability: refers to variations or deviations from the mean state of the climate or temporal variations of the atmosphere-ocean system around a mean state measure over a long period of time. Typically, this term is used for timeÂscales longer than those associated with synoptic weather events (i.e., months to millennia and longer). The term ânatural climate variabilityâ is further used to identify climate variations that are not attributable to or influenced by any activity related to humans. However it is recognized that such âinternal or natural variabilityâ could be affected by external factors driving climate change such as changes in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. The El NiÃ±o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena is a good example of the variability in the coupled oceanic and atmosphere system that is a central fac- tor in short-term climate variability and the interannual timescale (http://www. cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/prelude_to_ensofaq.shtml; http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/outreach/coral/coralenso.html; http://www.sws. uiuc.edu/atmos/statecli/Climate_change/glossary.htm). Ecosystem: Mutually interrelated communities of species and abiotic compo- nents, existing as a system with specific interactions and exchange of matter, energy, and information. El NiÃ±o: A warming of the surface waters of the tropical Pacific that occurs every 3 to 5 years, temporarily affecting weather worldwide. Emerging infection: Either a newly recognized, clinically distinct infectious disease or a known infectious disease whose reported incidence is increasing in a given place or among a specific population. Endemic: Restricted or peculiar to a locality or region. Endemic infection refers to a sustained, relatively stable pattern of infection in a specified population. Epidemic: Appearance of an abnormally high number of cases of infection in a given population. Epidemiology: Study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations. Epidemiology is the basic quantitative science of public health. Extreme weather: refers to weather phenomena that are at the extremes of the historical distribution and are rare for a particular place and/or time, espe- cially severe or unseasonal weather. Such extremes include severe thunderstorms; severe snowstorms, ice storms, blizzards, flooding, hurricanes, and high winds, and heat waves. For example, although flooding is common in the United
APPENDIX C 255 States, the impacts of flooding are not consistent from year to year through time. Many years of small floods with little impact may be followed by a single large flood with a sizable loss (e.g., theÂ June 2008 floodingÂ in the midwestern United States) (http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/impacts/resources/glossary.html; http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather; http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/atmos/statecli/ General/Illinois-climate-narrative.htm). Extrinsic incubation period: Time required for the development of a disease agent in a vector from the time of uptake of the agent to the time the vector is infective. Global warming: The gradual increase, observed or projected, in global surface temperature, as one of the consequences of radiative forcing caused by anthropo- genic emissions (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/glossary/ar4-wg3.pdf). Ground truth: information collected on location (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Ground_truth). Host (disease): Person or other living animal that affords subsistence or lodgment to an infectious agent under natural conditions. Incidence: Number of cases of a disease commencing, or of persons falling ill, during a given period of time in a specified population. Incidence rate is the number of new cases of a specific disease diagnosed or reported during a defined interval of time divided by the number of all persons in a defined population during the same time. Intertidal zone: The area that is exposed to the air at low tide and submerged at high tide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertidal_zone). La NiÃ±a: Cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that impact global weather patterns. La NiÃ±a conditions recur every few years and can persist for as long as 2 years (http://www.elnino. noaa.gov/lanina_new_faq.html). Mitigation: Initiatives that reduce the risk from natural and man-made hazards. With respect to climate change, mitigation usually refers to actions taken to reduce the emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Nowcasts: Forecasts of events in the immediate future. Ocean thermohaline circulation: The stabilizing ocean âconveyor belt.â
256 GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS Oomycete: A group of filamentous, unicellular heterokonts, physically resem- bling fungi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oomycete). Outbreak: Localized occurrence as opposed to a generalized epidemic. Pandemic: Epidemic that occurs over a very wide area. Pathogen: Organism capable of causing disease. Permafrost: Permanently frozen land. Phytohormone: Chemical that regulates plant growth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_hormone). Phytoplankton: Microscopic plants that live in the ocean (http://earth observatory.nasa.gov/Library/Phytoplankton/). Poikilothermic: Any organism whose body temperature varies with the tempera- ture of its surroundings. Prevalence: Proportion of persons in a population currently affected by a par- ticular disease. Prevalence rate is the number of cases of a specific disease at a particular time divided by the population at that time living in the same region. Risk: Probability that an event will occur; a measure of the degree of loss expected by the occurrence of an event. Seroconversion: Development of antibodies in blood serum as a result of infection. Southern Oscillation: A large-scale atmospheric and hydrospheric fluctuation centered in the equatorial Pacific Ocean; it exhibits a nearly annual pressure anomaly, alternatively high over the Indian Ocean and high over the South Pacific; the variation in pressure is accompanied by variations in wind strengths, ocean currents, sea surface temperatures, and precipitation in the surrounding areas. Transmission: Process by which a pathogen passes from a source of infection to a new host. Vector: An organism, such as an insect, that transmits a pathogen from one host to another.
APPENDIX C 257 Vector-borne disease: (1) Mechanical: this includes simple mechanical carriage by a crawling or flying insect through soiling of its feet or proboscis or by passage of organisms through its gastrointestinal tract. This does not require multiplica- tion or development of the organism. (2) Biological: propagation (multiplication), cyclic development, or a combination of these (cyclopropagative) is required before the arthropod can transmit the infective form of the agent to humans. An incubation period (extrinsic) is required following infection before the arthropod becomes infective. The infectious agent may be passed vertically to succeeding generations (transovarian transmission); transstadial transmission indicates its passage from one stage of the life cycle to another, as nymph to adult. Transmis- sion may be by injection of salivary gland fluid during biting, or by regurgitation or deposition on the skin of feces or other material capable of penetrating the bite wound or an area of trauma from scratching or rubbing. This transmission is by an infected nonvertebrate host and not simple mechanical carriage by a vector or vehicle. However, an arthropod in either role is termed a vector. Weather: Condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time measured in terms of wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation. In most places, weather can change from hour to hour, from day to day, and from season to season. Weather extremes (extreme weather events): Signifies individual weather events that are unusual in their occurrence (minimally, the event must lie in the upper or lower tenth percentile of the distribution) or have destructive poten- tial, such as hurricanes and tornadoes (http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/ sap3-3/sap3-3-final-FrontMaterials.pdf). Zoonosis: Infection that causes disease in human populations but can be perpetu- ated solely in nonhuman host animals (e.g., bubonic plague); may be enzootic or epizootic.