Applications have now opened for the Panorama NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). James has two PhD projects that are eligible for funding from the start of the 2019 academic year at the University of Leeds, for which he is either primary or co-supervisor:
- Tracking adaptation to climate change using big data
Prof James Ford (SoG), Prof Jan Minx , Prof Mark Birkin
- Integrating local and Indigenous knowledge with climate modeling in Uganda: an ‘ethno-climatology’ approach
Prof. Lea Berrang Ford (SEE), Prof. Andy Challinor , Prof. James Ford
For more information, full project descriptions, and details on how to apply, please click on the project titles hyperlinked above.
James is in Vienna this week (Oct 29th-Nov 2nd), working with the UN to examine agency programming on climate change. His work is specifically focusing on how adaptation can be integrated into ongoing programming, the extent to which this is occurring, and challenges faced. The work is particularly timely with the recent release of the IPCC special report on the impacts of 1.5C of warming which calls for enhanced action of climate change.
Understanding weather and hospital admissions patterns to inform climate change adaptation strategies in the healthcare sector in Uganda
Bishop-Williams, K.E., Berrang-Ford, L., Sergeant, J.M., Pearl, D.L., Lwasa, S., Bambaiha, D.B., Edge, V.L., Cunsolo, A., IHACC Research Team, Bwindi Community Hospital, Huang, Y., Ford, J.D., Garcia, P., Harper, S.L. (2018). Understanding weather and hospital admissions patterns to inform climate change adaptation strategies in the healthcare sector in Uganda. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, article number: 2402.
Season and weather are associated with many health outcomes, which can influence hospital admission rates. We examined associations between hospital admissions (all diagnoses) and local meteorological parameters in Southwestern Uganda, with the aim of supporting hospital planning and preparedness in the context of climate change. Methods: Hospital admissions data and meteorological data were collected from Bwindi Community Hospital and a satellite database of weather conditions, respectively (2011 to 2014). Descriptive statistics were used to describe admission patterns. A mixed-effects Poisson regression model was fitted to investigate associations between hospital admissions and season, precipitation, and temperature. Results: Admission counts were highest for acute respiratory infections, malaria, and acute gastrointestinal illness, which are climate-sensitive diseases. Hospital admissions were 1.16 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.31; p = 0.008) times higher during extreme high temperatures (i.e., >95th percentile) on the day of admission. Hospital admissions association with season depended on year; admissions were higher in the dry season than the rainy season every year, except for 2014. Discussion: Effective adaptation strategy characteristics include being low-cost and quick and practical to implement at local scales. Herein, we illustrate how analyzing hospital data alongside meteorological parameters may inform climate-health planning in low-resource contexts.
Vulnerability and its discontents: the past, present, and future of climate change vulnerability research
Ford, J.D., Pearce, T.D., McDowell, G., Berrang-Ford, L., Sayles, J.S. and Belfer, E. (2018). Vulnerability and its discontents: the past, present, and future of climate change vulnerability research. Climatic Change, published online.
The concept of vulnerability is well established in the climate change literature, underpinning significant research effort. The ability of vulnerability research to capture the complexities of climate-society dynamics has been increasingly questioned, however. In this paper, we identify, characterize, and evaluate concerns over the use of vulnerability approaches in the climate change field based on a review of peer-reviewed articles published since 1990 (n = 587). Seven concerns are identified: neglect of social drivers, promotion of a static understanding of human-environment interactions, vagueness about the concept of vulnerability, neglect of cross-scale interactions, passive and negative framing, limited influence on decision-making, and limited collaboration across disciplines. Examining each concern against trends in the literature, we find some of these concerns weakly justified, but others pose valid challenges to vulnerability research. Efforts to revitalize vulnerability research are needed, with priority areas including developing the next generation of empirical studies, catalyzing collaboration across disciplines to leverage and build on the strengths of divergent intellectual traditions involved in vulnerability research, and linking research to the practical realities of decision-making.
On Wednesday 24th October members of the Ford lab at the University of Leeds’ Priestley Society co-ordinated a meeting of student researchers and academics to explore how Indigenous priorities and concerns could be better accommodated within academic research activities. It is the intention that the findings from this meeting will culminate in an exploratory workshop to address any issues raised, and, if possible, a publication that explores these issues from a reflective, student-led perspective.