Climate and SARS-CoV-2

Baker, Rachel E., et al. “Susceptible supply limits the role of climate in the early SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.” Science (2020).

Selected coverage: NIH Director’s BlogSlate , NBC, Al Jazeera, Washington Post

(preprint) Baker, Rachel E., et al “The impact of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions on the future dynamics of endemic infections” Medrxiv 


Climate change and directly-transmitted infections

While important work has considered the potential effect of climate change on vector-borne diseases, relatively less attention has been paid to directly-transmitted diseases (e.g. chickenpox, influenza, RSV), despite strong evidence that the climate plays a crucial role in driving the dynamics of these types of infections. In this research area I have two aims: to understand how climate affects the transmission of directly-transmitted diseases in the present and to use this understanding to quantify the potential impact of climate change on these epidemics in the future.  The ultimate aim is to improve forecasting and control efforts.

Baker, Rachel E., Ayesha S. Mahmud, and C. Jessica E. Metcalf. “Dynamic response of airborne infections to climate change: predictions for varicella.” Climatic change 148.4 (2018): 547-560.

Baker, Rachel E. et al. “Epidemic dynamics of respiratory syncytial virus in current and future climates.” Nature Communications (2019)
Blog post here.

Climate change and vector-borne diseases

Wagner, Caroline E. et al “Climatological, virological and sociological drivers of current and projected dengue fever outbreak dynamics in Sri Lanka.” Journal of the Royal Society Interface (2020).

Climate change and indirect effects on human health

Climate change will affect health through multiple pathways. While the direct effects of climate change, such as mortality responses to heatwaves, are increasingly well understood, indirect effects such as changes to socioeconomic circumstances or nutrition, are often more difficult to disentangle.

Baker, Rachel E. and Jesse Anttila-Hughes “Characterizing the contribution of high temperatures to sustained child undernourishment in Sub-Saharan Africa” Under review.

Baker, Rachel E. “Climate change drives increase in modeled HIV prevalence” Under review.

Other climate impacts work

Climate change will affect many aspects of human life. The consequences of climate change for economic growth are already being felt in many locations. As part of a collaboration with the Climatic Impacts Lab, in partnership with several universities, I worked on a project to evaluate the effect of climate change on future labor supply.

“Human Productivity in a Warmer World: The Impact of Climate Change on the Global Workforce” (Rachel E. Baker, Tamma Carleton, Anthony D’Agostino, Timothy Foreman, Michael Greenstone, Solomon Hsiang, Andrew Hultgren, Amir Jina, Matthew Pecenco, and Ashwin Rode) – working paper