Special Issue "The Impacts of Space Weather on Human Health"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Upper Atmosphere".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jonė Venclovienė
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas 44248, Lithuania
Interests: biostatistics; the associations between space weather and human health; the effects of weather and air pollution on human health; environment; epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have been focusing on the association between geomagnetic activity and other space weather phenomena (like space storms, solar proton events, solar flares, cosmic rays activity, Pc1 and Pc4-Pc5 geomagnetic pulsations,  and high-speed solar wind) and human health, especially on the cardiovascular system. In recent years, the created databases of environmental data give an opportunity to evaluate the complex effect of space weather and atmospheric conditions on human health. Apart from this, technological advances allow one to simulate space weather conditions and increase access to high temporal resolution physiological data, which help to explain the physiological effect of space weather on humans. This enables new knowledge about the effect of space weather on human health. 

The aim of this Special Issue is to showcase the new results of associations between space weather and various aspects of human health. The main topics of this issue are (1) the impact of space storms on humans, (2) the associations between solar wind variation and human health variables, (3) the complex effect of space weather and other environmental phenomena (e.g., air temperature, atmospheric pressure, seasonality, air pollution, and teleconnection patterns) on the risk of adverse health events or fluctuations in the physiological variables in humans, and (4) the complex effect of the Earth’s magnetic field and weather pattern on humans. 

Sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Jonė Venclovienė
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Geomagnetic activity
  • Solar wind
  • Cosmic rays activity
  • Space storms
  • Atmospheric circulation
  • Air temperature
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Peripheral circulation
  • Mental health

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Possible Associations between Space Weather and the Incidence of Stroke
Atmosphere 2021, 12(3), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030334 - 05 Mar 2021
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Abstract
The aim of our study was to detect the possible association between daily numbers of ischemic strokes (ISs) and hemorrhagic strokes (HSs) and space weather events. The daily numbers of ISs, subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAHs), and intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs) were obtained from Kaunas Stroke [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to detect the possible association between daily numbers of ischemic strokes (ISs) and hemorrhagic strokes (HSs) and space weather events. The daily numbers of ISs, subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAHs), and intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs) were obtained from Kaunas Stroke Register during the period of 1986 to 2010. We used time- and season-stratified multivariate Poisson regression. We analyzed data of 597 patients with SAH, 1147 patients with ICH, and 7482 patients with IS. Strong/severe geomagnetic storms (GSs) were associated with an increase in the risk of SAH (by 58%) and HS (by 30%). Only GSs occurring during 6:00–12:00 UT were associated with the risk of IS. Low geomagnetic activity (GMA) was associated with the risk of ICH, HS, and IS (Rate Ratios with 95% CI were 2.51 (1.50–4.21), 2.33 (1.50–3.61), and 1.36 (1.03–1.81), respectively). The days of ≥ X9 class solar flare (SF) were associated with a 39% higher risk of IS. The risk of HS occurrence was greater than two times higher on the day after the maximum of a strong/severe solar proton event (SPE). These results showed that GSs, very low GMA, and stronger SFs and SPEs may be associated with an increased risk of different subtypes of stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Space Weather on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Space Weather Events and the Incidence of Acute Myocardial Infarction and Deaths from Ischemic Heart Disease
Atmosphere 2021, 12(3), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030306 - 26 Feb 2021
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Abstract
The effects of charged solar particles hitting the Earth’s magnetosphere are often harmful and can be dangerous to the human organism. The aim of this study was to analyze the associations of geomagnetic storms (GSs) and other space weather events (solar proton events [...] Read more.
The effects of charged solar particles hitting the Earth’s magnetosphere are often harmful and can be dangerous to the human organism. The aim of this study was to analyze the associations of geomagnetic storms (GSs) and other space weather events (solar proton events (SPEs), solar flares (SFs), high-speed solar wind (HSSW), interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and stream interaction regions (SIRs)) with morbidity from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and mortality from ischemic heart diseases (IHDs) during the period 2000–2015 in Kaunas (Lithuania). In 2000–2015, 12,330 AMI events (men/women n = 6942/5388) and 3742 deaths from IHD (men/women n = 2480/1262) were registered. The results showed that a higher risk of AMI and deaths from IHD were related to the period of 3 days before GS—a day after GS, and a stronger effect was observed during the spring–autumn period. The strongest effect of HSSW was observed on the day of the event. We found significant associations between the risk of AMI and death from IHD and the occurrence of SFs during GSs. We also found a statistically significant increase in rate ratios (RRs) for all AMIs and deaths from IHD between the second and fourth days of the period of ICMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Space Weather on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes of Circulatory and Nervous Diseases Mortality Patterns during Periods of Exceptional Solar Events
Atmosphere 2021, 12(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020203 - 03 Feb 2021
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Abstract
A statistical analysis of the relation between exceptional solar events and daily numbers of deaths in the Czech Republic is presented. In particular, we concentrate on diseases of the nervous system (group VI from ICD-10—International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems [...] Read more.
A statistical analysis of the relation between exceptional solar events and daily numbers of deaths in the Czech Republic is presented. In particular, we concentrate on diseases of the nervous system (group VI from ICD-10—International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision) and diseases of the circulatory system (group IX from ICD-10). We demonstrate that the neurological diseases exhibit greater instability during the period of rising and falling solar activity. We study the daily numbers of deaths, separately for both sexes and two age groups (under 39 and 40+), during the Solar Cycles No. 23 and No. 24. We focus on exceptionally strong solar events in this period, such as the “Bastille Day event” on 14 July 2000, “Halloween solar storm” on 28 October 2003, and events on 7 January 1997, 2 April 2000, and on 7 September 2005. Special attention is paid to “St. Patrick’s Day storm” on 17 March 2015, the strongest geomagnetic storm of the Solar Cycle No. 24 that occurred following a coronal mass ejection (CME). We investigate the changes in the daily numbers of deaths during 1 month before and 1 month after these exceptional solar events. We take specific storm dynamics of their geophysical parameters into consideration. It has been verified that, for diseases of the nervous system, women are generally more sensitive than men. On the contrary, this differences between men and women have not been found for diseases of the circulatory system. Our findings suggest that the impact of the hazardous space weather conditions on human health depends on the specific dynamic and strength of the solar storm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Space Weather on Human Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Possible Effect of Space Weather Factors on Various Physiological Systems of the Human Organism
Atmosphere 2021, 12(3), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030346 - 06 Mar 2021
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Abstract
A systematic review of heliobiological studies of the last 25 years devoted to the study of the potential influence of space weather factors on human health and well-being was carried out. We proposed three criteria (coordinates), according to which the work on solar–biospheric [...] Read more.
A systematic review of heliobiological studies of the last 25 years devoted to the study of the potential influence of space weather factors on human health and well-being was carried out. We proposed three criteria (coordinates), according to which the work on solar–biospheric relations was systematized: the time scale of data sampling (years, days, hours, minutes); the level of organization of the biological system under study (population, group, individual, body system); and the degree of system response (norm, adaptation, failure of adaptation (illness), disaster (death)). This systematic review demonstrates that three parameters mentioned above are closely related in the existing heliobiological studies: the larger the selected time scale, the higher the level of estimated biological system organization and the stronger the potential response degree is. The long-term studies are devoted to the possible influence of solar activity on population disasters, i.e., significant increases in morbidity and mortality. On a daily scale, a probable effect of geomagnetic storms and other space weather events on short-term local outbreaks of morbidity is shown as well as on cases of deterioration in people functional state. On an intraday scale, in the regular functioning mode, the heart and brain rhythms of healthy people turn to be synchronized with geomagnetic field variations in some frequency ranges, which apparently is the necessary organism’s existence element. The applicability of different space weather indices at different data sampling rates, the need to take into account the contribution of meteorological factors, and the prospects for an individual approach in heliobiology are discussed. The modern important results of experiments on modeling the action of magnetic storms in laboratory conditions and the substantiation of possible theoreical mechanisms are described. These results provide an experimental and theoretical basis for studies of possible connections of space weather and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Space Weather on Human Health)
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