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Exploring the Health Effects of a Subtly Changing Climate: risk and vulnerability to Ross River Virus in Tasmania, Australia


Lyth, A and Holbrook, N, Exploring the Health Effects of a Subtly Changing Climate: risk and vulnerability to Ross River Virus in Tasmania, Australia, Conference Program for the Fifth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, 18-19 July 2013, Port-Louis, Mauritius, pp. 25. (2013) [Conference Extract]

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Australian health research has focused largely on issues associated with extreme climate events, potentially masking our understanding of more subtle climate change effects on regional systems. In Australia’s island State of Tasmania, there is evidence that subtle changes in climate into the future may have implications for human health.

This paper discusses a regional investigation of vulnerability to the mosquito-borne disease Ross River virus in Tasmania in a subtly changing climate. Ross River virus is Australia’s most significant mosquito-borne disease. The study: i) synthesises unconnected knowledge about biophysical, social and climatic factors influencing Ross River virus risk in Tasmania; ii) assesses vulnerability using a nested co-dependency framework, and regional-scale climate modelling by the Climate Futures for Tasmania program; and iii) qualitatively explores adaptive policy and planning capacity within Tasmania.

Our results suggest a heightened risk of Ross River virus in Tasmania towards the mid 21st Century. Areas of noted vulnerability are population growth areas in outer urban, semi-rural, and coastal areas; while baseline adaptive capacity points to the need for integrated and sustainable policy responses across sectors. The findings have implications for the conceptualisation of regional-scale climate change risk and vulnerability research, and sustainable adaptation policy approaches elsewhere.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Ross River Virus, vector borne disease, climate change
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Social impacts of climate change and variability
UTAS Author:Lyth, A (Dr Anna Lyth)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, N (Professor Neil Holbrook)
ID Code:100145
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2015-05-04
Last Modified:2015-05-07

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