Climate information for public health: the role of the IRI climate data library in an integrated knowledge system
AbstractPublic health professionals are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of climate variability and change on health outcomes. Protecting public health from the vagaries of climate requires new working relationships between the public health sector and the providers of climate data and information. The Climate Information for Public Health Action initiative at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is designed to increase the public health community’s capacity to understand, use and demand appropriate climate data and climate information to mitigate the public health impacts of the climate. Significant challenges to building the capacity of health professionals to use climate information in research and decision-making include the difficulties experienced by many in accessing relevant and timely qualitycontrolled data and information in formats that can be readily incorporated into specific analysis with other data sources. We present here the capacities of the IRI climate data library and show how we have used it to build an integrated knowledge system in the support of the use of climate and environmental information in climate-sensitive decision-making with respect to health. Initiated as an aid facilitating exploratory data analysis for climate scientists, the IRI climate data library has emerged as a powerful tool for interdisciplinary researchers focused on topics related to climate impacts on society, including health.
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Copyright (c) 2012 John del Corral, M. Benno Blumenthal, Gilma Mantilla, Pietro Ceccato, Stephen J. Connor, Madeleine C. Thomson
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