ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0138.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Climate change, antimicrobial resistance, earth science, risk mapping, transdisciplinarity
Online: 8 November 2022 (02:27:23 CET)
Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global and planetary health challenge. Links between climate change, antibiotic use and the emergence of antibiotic resistance have been well documented, but less attention has been given to the impact(s) of earth systems on specific bacterial livestock diseases at a more granular level. Understanding the precise impacts of climate change on livestock health – and in turn the use of antibiotics to address that ill-health – is important in providing an evidence base to tackle such impacts and to develop practical, implementable and locally acceptable solutions within and beyond current antibiotic stewardship programmes. In this paper, we set out the case for better integration of earth scientists and their specific disciplinary skill set (specifically, problem-solving with incomplete/fragmentary data; the ability to work across four dimensions and at the interface between the present and deep/geological time) into planetary health research. We then discuss a methodology that makes use of risk mapping, a common methodology in earth science but less frequently used in health science, to map disease risk against changing climatic conditions at a granular level. This will enable predictions of future disease risk and risk impacts based on predicted future climate conditions, and thus provide an evidence base for planetary health activists to influence policy and develop mitigations. Our case study – of climate conditions’ impact on livestock health in Karnataka, India – clearly evidences the benefit of integrating earth scientists into planetary health research.