Awareness that many key aspects of public health are strongly influenced by climate is growing dramatically, driven by new research and experience and fears of climate change and the research needed to underpin policy developments in area is growing rapidly. This awareness has yet to translate into a practical use of climate knowledge by health policy-makers. Evidence based policy and practice is the mantra of the health sector. If climate scientists are to contribute effectively to health policy at local and global scales then careful empirical studies must be undertaken – focused on the needs of the public health policy and decision-makers.
Results presented at the Wengen conference make clear that the science and art of integrating climate knowledge into the control of climate sensitive diseases on a year to year time frame as well as careful assessments of the potential impacts of climate change on health outcomes over longer time frames is advancing rapidly on many fronts. This includes advances in the empirical understanding of mechanisms, methodologies for modeling future impacts, new partnership developments between the health and climate community along with access to relevant data resources, and education and training. In a rapidly evolving field this book provides a snapshot of these emerging themes.