The overarching aim of EARLY-ADAPT is to jointly analyse the environmental (climate variability, air pollution, desert dust and infectious diseases) and socioeconomic (macroeconomy, ageing, inequality and gender gap) drivers of recent trends in public health, focusing on human mortality, hospital admissions, occupational accidents and maternal and child health.
Environmental factors kill hundreds of thousands of Europeans every year. Climate change is an additional threat for public health, and adaptation an essential strategy of increasing importance. Societies are devoting efforts to adaptation, but evidence of effectiveness is still lacking. A unified framework integrating disciplines is the solution to understand the ongoing societal response to climate change.
Hypothesis and Aim
The driving hypothesis of EARLY-ADAPT is that European societies are starting to adapt to climate change, but the effectiveness of early adaptation is heterogeneous between populations and through time. The project will allow to detect, understand and quantify the drivers and inequalities of human adaptation between countries, regions, cities and social groups.
EARLY-ADAPT will integrate multiple health outcomes and environmental and socioeconomic factors to perform a numerically-intensive, epidemiological analysis between daily spatiotemporal datasets. The project will use different layers of data, and multiscale local regression techniques, to analyse the scales and spatiotemporal heterogeneity of the drivers of early adaptation.
After creating a homogeneous, continental-wide database of human health in Europe (WP1), EARLY-ADAPT will model the relationship between health and the environment, and then quantify the modifying effect of the societal factors (WP2). Finally, the project will perform a predictability analysis to determine the most realistic adaptation scenarios for the projections of future health (WP3).
Impact in Science
The continental-wide, multi-factor, multi-scale framework of EARLY-ADAPT will connect a range of disciplines to reveal the drivers, and the inequalities, of the early adaptation response to climate change. But beyond that, the project will create knowledge by developing a novel, integrated method for environmental health in Europe, which will stimulate new research ideas in a range of disciplines.
As defined by the ERC founding scheme, EARLY-ADAPT is an innovative, purely inter-disciplinary, high-risk/high-gain project aimed at generating beyond state-of-the-art, high-impact knowledge. As such, the project is open to host researchers and accommodate collaborations spanning across disciplines, in order to explore additional frontier research ideas, hypotheses and methodologies.