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Table 1 outlines the research questions to be addressed in undertaking this review.Scoping reviews are a relatively recent method of reviewing evidence-based research, particularly in health and also in other disciplines.16 There is no single definition of what a scoping review consists of.In this paper we outline our methods to conduct a scoping review of the published peer-reviewed literature on climate change and health between 19.
There is a wide range of publications addressing various aspects of climate change and health.
We have identified a number of systematic literature reviews which summarise the evidence of specific health impact related to climate change including nutrition, infectious diseases, etc.9–14 A scoping review by Hosking provides insights into how the published literature on climate change and health addresses the World Health Assembly (WHA) priority research areas for climate change and health as specified in 2008 and expanded on in 2009.15 This review is highly relevant in identifying the research relevant to the WHA priority areas; however, the results cover a brief 2-year of period 2008–2010.
The consequences of climate change are likely to lead to an increased demand on health services, which will require adaptation to the growing incidence of climate-related health issues.
The need to identify and prevent adverse health impacts is rising to the forefront of climate change policy debates and is becoming a growing priority of the public health community.1For more than 28 years, the IPCC has been assessing the potential health risks associated with climate change.2 In the 6 years between 20, climate change has gone from being ‘the biggest global health threat of the 21st century’3 to potentially ‘the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century’.4 To date, projections of the direction and scope of health consequences induced by climate change involve a degree of uncertainty, which makes it difficult to communicate scientific facts to policymakers or even to the general public.5 6 Clear information and communication about the health consequences are a critical factor to remove some of this uncertainty.
Generating a greater understanding of the health impacts of climate change could be key step in inciting some of the changes necessary to decelerate global warming.
A long-term and broad overview of the existing scientific literature in the field of climate change and health is currently missing in order to ensure that all priority areas are being adequately addressed.This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial.See: phenomenon of climate change is a reality that is now universally acknowledged and better understood than it was in 1988 when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).There are direct and indirect mechanisms by which climate change affects our health resulting in numerous health outcomes.The 2014 IPCC report outlines the direct impact from extreme weather and indirect impacts through ecosystem-mediated effects and human system-mediated effects.8 Generating a greater understanding of these health impacts resulting from climate change could be a key step in inciting some of the changes necessary to decelerate global warming.We are seeking to fill this void through this scoping review covering 25 years of publications which address the extensive health issues affected by climate change.We will examine the historical trends and identify the research areas which are being addressed in scientific publications.The quality of the literature will not be assessed, which is a limitation of scoping reviews.Systematic reviews which have more refined research questions and narrower study parameters, generally result in fewer, more homogeneous citations which can be more efficiently assessed for quality.This may also assist in elevating the importance of climate change to ensure that it is a high priority which receives sufficient commitment financially and politically.Climate change presents an enormous governance challenge, with a need for greater new integrated governance structures at national and international levels.7Climate change and health is a growing area of research.