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Special Issue "Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Shakoor Hajat

Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London WC1H 9SH, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate change; environmental epidemiology; public health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In December 2015, a historic agreement was reached at the Paris Climate Conference for the first-ever global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement, which is now legally-binding, involves “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”. Given the many additional challenges in limiting warming to 1.5 °C as opposed to 2 °C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will produce a special report, due in September 2018, which will document just what can be gained from achieving this more stringent target. A key consideration of this assessment should be the potential for differential impacts on human health between these two targets.  

This Special Issue of IJERPH invites papers assessing the local and/or global health impacts of climate change and identification of vulnerable groups. Evidence on both direct and indirect processes is sought, including the health effects of ambient temperature, extreme weather events, changes in physical and chemical hazards, ecological changes including infectious diseases, and social and demographic disruption. Risk assessments explicitly comparing impacts based on 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming scenarios are particularly welcome, including information on which regions are likely to benefit most from these differential targets.

Dr. Shakoor Hajat
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Climate variability
  • Environmental change
  • Global health
  • Risk assessment
  • Temperature

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Climate Change and Human Health: Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061123
Received: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
In December 2015, a historic agreement was reached at the Paris Climate Conference for the first-ever global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Current and Potential Future Seasonal Trends of Indoor Dwelling Temperature and Likely Health Risks in Rural Southern Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050952
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4042 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change has resulted in rising temperature trends which have been associated with changes in temperature extremes globally. Attendees of Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 agreed to strive to limit the rise in global average temperatures to below 2 °C compared to [...] Read more.
Climate change has resulted in rising temperature trends which have been associated with changes in temperature extremes globally. Attendees of Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 agreed to strive to limit the rise in global average temperatures to below 2 °C compared to industrial conditions, the target being 1.5 °C. However, current research suggests that the African region will be subjected to more intense heat extremes over a shorter time period, with projections predicting increases of 4–6 °C for the period 2071–2100, in annual average maximum temperatures for southern Africa. Increased temperatures may exacerbate existing chronic ill health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes-related conditions. Exposure to extreme temperatures has also been associated with mortality. This study aimed to consider the relationship between temperatures in indoor and outdoor environments in a rural residential setting in a current climate and warmer predicted future climate. Temperature and humidity measurements were collected hourly in 406 homes in summer and spring and at two-hour intervals in 98 homes in winter. Ambient temperature, humidity and windspeed were obtained from the nearest weather station. Regression models were used to identify predictors of indoor apparent temperature (AT) and to estimate future indoor AT using projected ambient temperatures. Ambient temperatures will increase by a mean of 4.6 °C for the period 2088–2099. Warming in winter was projected to be greater than warming in summer and spring. The number of days during which indoor AT will be categorized as potentially harmful will increase in the future. Understanding current and future heat-related health effects is key in developing an effective surveillance system. The observations of this study can be used to inform the development and implementation of policies and practices around heat and health especially in rural areas of South Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle
Projection of Future Mortality Due to Temperature and Population Changes under Representative Concentration Pathways and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040822
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets. [...] Read more.
The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets. In this study, we assessed the temperature–mortality relationship using a distributed lag non-linear model in seven major cities of South Korea. Then, we projected future temperature-attributable mortality under different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios for those cities. Mortality was projected to increase by 1.53 under the RCP 4.5 (temperature increase by 2.83 °C) and 3.3 under the RCP 8.5 (temperature increase by 5.10 °C) until the 2090s, as compared to baseline (1991–2015) mortality. However, future mortality is expected to increase by less than 1.13 and 1.26 if the 1.5 °C and 2 °C increase targets are met, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. Achieving the more ambitious target of 1.5 °C will reduce mortality by 12%, when compared to the 2 °C target. When we estimated future mortality due to both temperature and population changes, the future mortality was found to be increased by 2.07 and 3.85 for the 1.5 °C and 2 °C temperature increases, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. These increases can be attributed to a growing proportion of elderly population, who is more vulnerable to high temperatures. Meeting the target of 1.5 °C will be particularly beneficial for rapidly aging societies, including South Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping and Modelling Malaria Risk Areas Using Climate, Socio-Demographic and Clinical Variables in Chimoio, Mozambique
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040795
Received: 4 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (13098 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Malaria continues to be a major public health concern in Africa. Approximately 3.2 billion people worldwide are still at risk of contracting malaria, and 80% of deaths caused by malaria are concentrated in only 15 countries, most of which are in [...] Read more.
Background: Malaria continues to be a major public health concern in Africa. Approximately 3.2 billion people worldwide are still at risk of contracting malaria, and 80% of deaths caused by malaria are concentrated in only 15 countries, most of which are in Africa. These high-burden countries have achieved a lower than average reduction of malaria incidence and mortality, and Mozambique is among these countries. Malaria eradication is therefore one of Mozambique’s main priorities. Few studies on malaria have been carried out in Chimoio, and there is no malaria map risk of the area. This map is important to identify areas at risk for application of Public Precision Health approaches. By using GIS-based spatial modelling techniques, the research goal of this article was to map and model malaria risk areas using climate, socio-demographic and clinical variables in Chimoio, Mozambique. Methods: A 30 m × 30 m Landsat image, ArcGIS 10.2 and BioclimData were used. A conceptual model for spatial problems was used to create the final risk map. The risks factors used were: the mean temperature, precipitation, altitude, slope, distance to water bodies, distance to roads, NDVI, land use and land cover, malaria prevalence and population density. Layers were created in a raster dataset. For class value comparisons between layers, numeric values were assigned to classes within each map layer, giving them the same importance. The input dataset were ranked, with different weights according to their suitability. The reclassified outputs of the data were combined. Results: Chimoio presented 96% moderate risk and 4% high-risk areas. The map showed that the central and south-west “Residential areas”, namely, Centro Hipico, Trangapsso, Bairro 5 and 1° de Maio, had a high risk of malaria, while the rest of the residential areas had a moderate risk. Conclusions: The entire Chimoio population is at risk of contracting malaria, and the precise estimation of malaria risk, therefore, has important precision public health implications and for the planning of effective control measures, such as the proper time and place to spray to combat vectors, distribution of bed nets and other control measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Ambient Temperatures and Mental Disorder Hospitalizations in a Subtropical City: A Time-Series Study of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040754
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 14 April 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4865 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Mental disorders have been found to be positively associated with temperature in cool to cold climatic regions but the association in warmer regions is unclear. This study presented the short-term association between temperatures and mental disorder hospitalizations in a subtropical city [...] Read more.
Background: Mental disorders have been found to be positively associated with temperature in cool to cold climatic regions but the association in warmer regions is unclear. This study presented the short-term association between temperatures and mental disorder hospitalizations in a subtropical city with a mean annual temperature over 21 °C. Methods: Using Poisson-generalized additive models and distributed-lagged nonlinear models, daily mental disorder hospitalizations between 2002 and 2011 in Hong Kong were regressed on daily mean temperature, relative humidity, and air pollutants, adjusted for seasonal trend, long-term trend, day-of-week, and holiday. Analyses were stratified by disease class, gender and age-group. Results: 44,600 admissions were included in the analysis. Temperature was positively associated with overall mental-disorder hospitalizations (cumulative relative risk at 28 °C vs. 19.4 °C (interquartile range, lag 0–2 days) = 1.09 (95% confidence interval 1.03, 1.15)), with the strongest effect among the elderly (≥75 years old). Transient mental disorders due to conditions classified elsewhere and episodic mood disorders also showed strong positive associations with temperature. Conclusion: This study found a positive temperature–mental-disorder admissions association in a warm subtropical region and the association was most prominent among older people. With the dual effect of global warming and an aging population, targeted strategies should be designed to lower the disease burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle
Projecting Drivers of Human Vulnerability under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030554
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3767 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) are the new set of alternative futures of societal development that inform global and regional climate change research. They have the potential to foster the integration of socioeconomic scenarios within assessments of future climate-related health impacts. To date, [...] Read more.
The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) are the new set of alternative futures of societal development that inform global and regional climate change research. They have the potential to foster the integration of socioeconomic scenarios within assessments of future climate-related health impacts. To date, such assessments have primarily superimposed climate scenarios on current socioeconomic conditions only. Until now, the few assessments of future health risks that employed the SSPs have focused on future human exposure—i.e., mainly future population patterns—, neglecting future human vulnerability. This paper first explores the research gaps—mainly linked to the paucity of available projections—that explain such a lack of consideration of human vulnerability under the SSPs. It then highlights the need for projections of socioeconomic variables covering the wide range of determinants of human vulnerability, available at relevant spatial and temporal scales, and accounting for local specificities through sectoral and regional extended versions of the global SSPs. Finally, this paper presents two innovative methods of obtaining and computing such socioeconomic projections under the SSPs—namely the scenario matching approach and an approach based on experts’ elicitation and correlation analyses—and applies them to the case of Europe. They offer a variety of possibilities for practical application, producing projections at sub-national level of various drivers of human vulnerability such as demographic and social characteristics, urbanization, state of the environment, infrastructure, health status, and living arrangements. Both the innovative approaches presented in this paper and existing methods—such as the spatial disaggregation of existing projections and the use of sectoral models—show great potential to enhance the availability of relevant projections of determinants of human vulnerability. Assessments of future climate-related health impacts should thus rely on these methods to account for future human vulnerability—under varying levels of socioeconomic development—and to explore its influence on future health risks under different degrees of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle
Present and Future of Dengue Fever in Nepal: Mapping Climatic Suitability by Ecological Niche Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020187
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4045 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Both the number of cases of dengue fever and the areas of outbreaks within Nepal have increased significantly in recent years. Further expansion and range shift is expected in the future due to global climate change and other associated factors. However, due to [...] Read more.
Both the number of cases of dengue fever and the areas of outbreaks within Nepal have increased significantly in recent years. Further expansion and range shift is expected in the future due to global climate change and other associated factors. However, due to limited spatially-explicit research in Nepal, there is poor understanding about the present spatial distribution patterns of dengue risk areas and the potential range shift due to future climate change. In this context, it is crucial to assess and map dengue fever risk areas in Nepal. Here, we used reported dengue cases and a set of bioclimatic variables on the MaxEnt ecological niche modeling approach to model the climatic niche and map present and future (2050s and 2070s) climatically suitable areas under different representative concentration pathways (RCP2.6, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5). Simulation-based estimates suggest that climatically suitable areas for dengue fever are presently distributed throughout the lowland Tarai from east to west and in river valleys at lower elevations. Under the different climate change scenarios, these areas will be slightly shifted towards higher elevation with varied magnitude and spatial patterns. Population exposed to climatically suitable areas of dengue fever in Nepal is anticipated to further increase in both 2050s and 2070s on all the assumed emission scenarios. These findings could be instrumental to plan and execute the strategic interventions for controlling dengue fever in Nepal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle
Number of Heat Wave Deaths by Diagnosis, Sex, Age Groups, and Area, in Slovenia, 2015 vs. 2003
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010173
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (347 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Number of deaths increases during periods of elevated heat. Objectives: To examine whether differences in heat-related deaths between 2003 and 2015 occurred in Slovenia. Materials and Methods: We estimated relative risks for deaths for the observed diagnoses, sex, age, [...] Read more.
Background: Number of deaths increases during periods of elevated heat. Objectives: To examine whether differences in heat-related deaths between 2003 and 2015 occurred in Slovenia. Materials and Methods: We estimated relative risks for deaths for the observed diagnoses, sex, age, and area, as well as 95% confidence intervals and excess deaths associated with heat waves occurring in 2015 and 2003. For comparison between 2015 and 2003, we calculated relative risks ratio and 95% confidence intervals. Results: Statistically significant in 2015 were the following: age group 75+, all causes of deaths (RR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.00–1.22); all population, circulatory system diseases (RR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.01–1.30) and age group 75+, diseases of circulatory system (RR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.01–1.34). Statistically significant in 2003 were the following: female, age group 5–74, circulatory system diseases (RR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.08–2.62). Discussion: Comparison between 2015 and 2003, all, circulatory system diseases (RRR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.01–1.55); male, circulatory system diseases (RRR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.41–2.43); all, age group 75+ circulatory system diseases (RRR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.07–1.69); male, age group 75+, circulatory system diseases (RRR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.03–2.25) and female, age group 75+, circulatory system diseases (RRR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.08–1.89). Conclusions: Public health efforts are urgent and should address circulatory system causes and old age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
Open AccessArticle
Climate Change and Health under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway Framework
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010003
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (3497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A growing body of literature addresses how climate change is likely to have substantial and generally adverse effects on population health and health systems around the world. These effects are likely to vary within and between countries and, importantly, will vary depending on [...] Read more.
A growing body of literature addresses how climate change is likely to have substantial and generally adverse effects on population health and health systems around the world. These effects are likely to vary within and between countries and, importantly, will vary depending on different socioeconomic development patterns. Transitioning to a more resilient and sustainable world to prepare for and manage the effects of climate change is likely to result in better health outcomes. Sustained fossil fuel development will likely result in continued high burdens of preventable conditions, such as undernutrition, malaria, and diarrheal diseases. Using a new set of socioeconomic development trajectories, the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), along with the World Health Organization’s Operational Framework for Building Climate Resilient Health Systems, we extend existing storylines to illustrate how various aspects of health systems are likely to be affected under each SSP. We also discuss the implications of our findings on how the burden of mortality and the achievement of health-related Sustainable Development Goal targets are likely to vary under different SSPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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