CLINF is a project developed to examine and identify the effects of climate change on the geographic epidemiology and distribution of human and animal infectious diseases within the Nordic Region and Russia.
By providing accessible, relevant data and developing an early warning system for Climate Sensitive Infections (CSI) at the local level, CLINF’s objective is to turn the new understanding of climate change effects into practical tools for decision-makers responsible for the development of northern societies.
National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden (SVA)
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden (SU)
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland (FMI)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden (SLU)
Nord University, Bodö, Norway (NO)
Norut Northern Research Institute Ltd. Tromsö, Norway (NORUT)
Adding ecological data to climate data makes it possible to create models for the future and the possibility to be active instead of reactive when new infections emerge. With this knowledge, it is possible to develop an alert system for communities to use and to be of value for decision makers. CLINF will continue to contribute to increase the knowledge of associations between climate change and climate sensitive infectious diseases, developing practical tools for decision makers for handling these incidents and making it possible to unify standards across the research field. Svenja Stöven, from the European CBRNE center is the administrative coordinator of the CLINF project.
Implementation CLINF consists of five interconnected work packages by 12 multidisciplinary research teams that are examining
health statistics (work package 1, WP1, Human and animal diseases in the northern Nordic Region),
potential landscape change (WP2, Climate change effects in the Nordic Region),
and the associated migration of infectious diseases (WP3, Depicting the geographic spread of climate-sensitive infections in the Nordic Region),
perception of risk and societal cost, adaptive capacity to cope with the risks and costs, and with strengthening societal CSI infrastructures (WP4, Societal impacts and adaptation needs).
Adaptive capacity, gender effects and traditional knowledge are used as integrating factors (WP5, Traditional knowledge, gender and local agency).
These five WPs will be used in a sixth WP, with the goal of creating an early warning system for emerging infections.
Results The CLINF Nordic Centre of Excellence has established a unique database and thereby, achieved its first milestone; a unique, comprehensive and standardized collection of historic incidence data from Nuuk to Yakutsk for up to 36 putatively climate-sensitive diseases. A completion of this database with analytical results for biological samples from humans and animals is ongoing. Furthermore, CLINF successfully combined the incidence data with climate data from the Eurasian Arctic region throughout the 30 years climate reference period of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
With the CSI database, it is possible, even if not fully completed, to identify weather and climate variables linked to disease outbreaks. Preliminary results show that temperature increase is a more likely driver of outbreaks than precipitation changes of climate-driven tularemia outbreaks in Sweden. With the societal, landscape and environmental data included, the database will be even more dynamic and powerful.