The scientists, with funding from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, developed an integrated regional assessment linking models for land-use/land cover, global climate change, regional climate change, atmospheric chemistry and pollution transport, and studied the predicted impacts of heat stress and air quality on public health.
The New York Climate and Health Project grew out of a previous regional climate impacts study called the Metro East Coast Climate Assessment (http://metroeast_climate.ciesin.columbia.edu), which was part of a national congressional survey of regional climate change implications. The MEC assessment was co-led by Earth Institute scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig and William Solecki of Hunter College, who are also investigators on the New York Climate & Health Project. That project involved downscaling climate change and sea-level rise scenarios for the New York metropolitan region, researching impacts in many sectors (including infrastructure, health, water and energy), and devising adaptation and mitigation strategies.
As Dr. Kinney explains, the climate and health group was developed to address the need for modeling systems that are capable of looking at many factors together and assessing local impacts of climate change. Aside from heat and air quality impacts on health, the group also incorporated land use changes since those will also impact surface temperature and air quality. The study brought together global climate change modelers, regional climate modelers, regional air quality modelers, land use modelers, and health scientists.