It's all connected – climate change and the spread of diseases

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We’re now all very aware that climate change is not just a problem for the future – 2023 was officially the hottest year on record ever. And as well as impacting our lives through food security, flooding and drought, climate change can also impact our health by the impact it can have on the spread of diseases.

A very interesting group of people came together to discuss this in January 2024. Policy makers, climate scientists, epidemiologists and mathematicians met at a workshop at the University of Oxford to discuss the impact of climate change on epidemics. We spoke to one of the organisers, Helena Stage, from the University of Bristol, about how exactly climate change impacts the spread of diseases, how maths can help and why it's so important to think globally.

You can find out more about disease modelling and epidemiology in our library for beginners, or our work with JUNIPER (the Joint UNIversities Pandemic and Epidemiological Research network). And you can find out more about climate change and how maths can help in these articles and podcasts.

This podcast was produced as part of our collaborations with JUNIPER, the Joint UNIversity Pandemic and Epidemic Response modelling consortium, and the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI), both of whom funded the workshop discussed in this episode.

JUNIPER comprises academics from the universities of Cambridge, Warwick, Bristol, Exeter, Oxford, Manchester, and Lancaster, who are using a range of mathematical and statistical techniques to address pressing question about the control of COVID-19. You can see more content produced with JUNIPER here.

The INI is an international research centre and our neighbour here on the University of Cambridge's maths campus. It attracts leading mathematical scientists from all over the world, and is open to all. Visit www.newton.ac.uk to find out more.

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