Climate change maladaptation for health:Agricultural practice against shifting seasonal rainfall affects snakebite risk for farmers in the Tropics

Goldstein, Eyal and Erinjery, Joseph J. and Martin, Gerardo and Kasturiratne, Anuradhani and Ediriweera, Dileepa Senajith and Somaweera, Ruchira and Janaka de Silva, Hithanadura and Diggle, Peter and Lalloo, David G. and Murray, Kris A. and Iwamura, Takuya (2023) Climate change maladaptation for health:Agricultural practice against shifting seasonal rainfall affects snakebite risk for farmers in the Tropics. iScience. ISSN 2589-0042

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Abstract

Snakebite affects more than 1.8 million people annually. Factors explaining snakebite variability include farmers’ behaviors, snake ecology and climate. One unstudied issue is how farmers’ adaptation to novel climates affect their health. Here we examined potential impacts of adaptation on snakebite using individual-based simulations, focusing on strategies meant to counteract major crop yield decline due to changing rainfall in Sri Lanka. For rubber cropping, adaptation led to a 33% increase in snakebite incidence per farmer work hour due to work during risky months, but a 17% decrease in total annual snakebites due to decreased labour in plantations overall. Rice farming adaptation decreased snakebites by 16%, due to shifting labour towards safer months, while tea adaptation led to a general increase. These results indicate that adaptation could have both a positive and negative effect, potentially intensified by ENSO. Our research highlights the need for assessing adaptation strategies for potential health maladaptations.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
iScience
ID Code:
183834
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Jan 2023 16:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
13 Jan 2023 16:10