E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy

Homeland Security, National Homeland Security Project, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, 923 W. Franklin St., Box 842028, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: emergency management; risk assessment; natural hazards; geomatics engineering; chemical sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Challenges and barriers to effective climate change management for public health are no longer purely environmental—or even scientific—issues; these impediments are primarily ethical, social, political, and economic in nature. Therefore, a cross-cutting interdisciplinary scientific approach is necessary to propose innovative, valuable and timely solutions to this complex problem. For example, an interdisciplinary approach to climate change can answer the following questions: Why has the US lagged behind other nations in climate change action? Are the health consequences of climate change likely to disproportionately impact under-served communities? To what extent are greenhouse gasses affecting human health? How to assess the social and environmental costs of greenhouse gas emissions? And should polluters be required to pay that cost now?

Climate change issues also involve socio-political and ecological systems that range from the molecular to the global scale. Accordingly, an interdisciplinary perspective is needed to better understand how these systems are linked and interact. This Special Issue encourages research that builds on, supports, and integrates many health-related disciplines and techniques, including population biology, environmental engineering, atmospheric and earth sciences, and the paleo- and social sciences. The integration of these tools is used to transform the traditional discipline-based inquiry to climate change to better understand to how to mitigate adverse health effects.

Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy
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 monthly 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 1600 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

  • green policies and health
  • heat-related hazards
  • environmental risk
  • sustainable design, development and management
  • climate change mitigation
  • climate change adaptation
  • environmental health
  • sustainable communities

Published Papers (12 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Evaluating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Mobility
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050880
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
PDF Full-text (11281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There is growing recognition that implementation of low-carbon policies in urban passenger transport has near-term health co-benefits through increased physical activity and improved air quality. Nevertheless, co-benefits and related cost reductions are often not taken into account in decision processes, likely because they
[...] Read more.
There is growing recognition that implementation of low-carbon policies in urban passenger transport has near-term health co-benefits through increased physical activity and improved air quality. Nevertheless, co-benefits and related cost reductions are often not taken into account in decision processes, likely because they are not easy to capture. In an interdisciplinary multi-model approach we address this gap, investigating the co-benefits resulting from increased physical activity and improved air quality due to climate mitigation policies for three urban areas. Additionally we take a (macro-)economic perspective, since that is the ultimate interest of policy-makers. Methodologically, we link a transport modelling tool, a transport emission model, an emission dispersion model, a health model and a macroeconomic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to analyze three climate change mitigation scenarios. We show that higher levels of physical exercise and reduced exposure to pollutants due to mitigation measures substantially decrease morbidity and mortality. Expenditures are mainly born by the public sector but are mostly offset by the emerging co-benefits. Our macroeconomic results indicate a strong positive welfare effect, yet with slightly negative GDP and employment effects. We conclude that considering economic co-benefits of climate change mitigation policies in urban mobility can be put forward as a forceful argument for policy makers to take action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How Well Do COP22 Attendees Understand Graphs on Climate Change Health Impacts from the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050875
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
PDF Full-text (2038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Graphs are prevalent in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), often depicting key points and major results. However, the popularity of graphs in the IPCC reports contrasts with a neglect of empirical tests of their understandability. Here we put
[...] Read more.
Graphs are prevalent in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), often depicting key points and major results. However, the popularity of graphs in the IPCC reports contrasts with a neglect of empirical tests of their understandability. Here we put the understandability of three graphs taken from the Health chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report to an empirical test. We present a pilot study where we evaluate objective understanding (mean accuracy in multiple-choice questions) and subjective understanding (self-assessed confidence in accuracy) in a sample of attendees of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, 2016 (COP22), and a student sample. Results show a mean objective understanding of M = 0.33 for the COP sample, and M = 0.38 for the student sample. Subjective and objective understanding were unrelated for the COP22 sample, but associated for the student sample. These results suggest that (i) understandability of the IPCC health chapter graphs is insufficient, and that (ii) particularly COP22 attendees lacked insight into which graphs they did, and which they did not understand. Implications for the construction of graphs to communicate health impacts of climate change to decision-makers are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Drought on Agronomic Traits of Rice and Wheat: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050839
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
PDF Full-text (1499 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Drought has been one of the most important limiting factors for crop production, which deleteriously affects food security worldwide. The main objective of the present study was to quantitatively assess the effect of drought on the agronomic traits (e.g., plant height, biomass, yield,
[...] Read more.
Drought has been one of the most important limiting factors for crop production, which deleteriously affects food security worldwide. The main objective of the present study was to quantitatively assess the effect of drought on the agronomic traits (e.g., plant height, biomass, yield, and yield components) of rice and wheat in combination with several moderators (e.g., drought stress intensity, rooting environment, and growth stage) using a meta-analysis study. The database was created from 55 published studies on rice and 60 published studies on wheat. The results demonstrated that drought decreased the agronomic traits differently between rice and wheat among varying growth stages. Wheat and rice yields decreased by 27.5% and 25.4%, respectively. Wheat grown in pots showed greater decreases in agronomic traits than those grown in the field. Rice showed opposite growing patterns when compared to wheat in rooting environments. The effect of drought on rice increased with plant growth and drought had larger detrimental influences during the reproductive phase (e.g., blooming stage, filling stage, and maturity). However, an exception was found in wheat, which had similar decreased performance during the complete growth cycle. Based on these results, future droughts could produce lower yields of rice and wheat when compared to the current drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Political Economy of Health Co-Benefits: Embedding Health in the Climate Change Agenda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040674
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A complex, whole-of-economy issue such as climate change demands an interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral response. However, evidence suggests that human health has remained elusive in its influence on the development of ambitious climate change mitigation policies for many national governments, despite a recognition that the
[...] Read more.
A complex, whole-of-economy issue such as climate change demands an interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral response. However, evidence suggests that human health has remained elusive in its influence on the development of ambitious climate change mitigation policies for many national governments, despite a recognition that the combustion of fossil fuels results in pervasive short- and long-term health consequences. We use insights from literature on the political economy of health and climate change, the science–policy interface and power in policy-making, to identify additional barriers to the meaningful incorporation of health co-benefits into climate change mitigation policy development. Specifically, we identify four key interrelated areas where barriers may exist in relation to health co-benefits: discourse, efficiency, vested interests and structural challenges. With these insights in mind, we argue that the current politico-economic paradigm in which climate change is situated and the processes used to develop climate change mitigation policies do not adequately support accounting for health co-benefits. We present approaches for enhancing the role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies to ensure that health is embedded in the broader climate change agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change Risk Perception in Taiwan: Correlation with Individual and Societal Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010091
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 30 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study differentiates the risk perception and influencing factors of climate change along the dimensions of global severity and personal threat. Using the 2013 Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSGS) data (N = 2001) as a representative sample of adults from Taiwan, we investigated
[...] Read more.
This study differentiates the risk perception and influencing factors of climate change along the dimensions of global severity and personal threat. Using the 2013 Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSGS) data (N = 2001) as a representative sample of adults from Taiwan, we investigated the influencing factors of the risk perceptions of climate change in these two dimensions (global severity and personal threat). Logistic regression models were used to examine the correlations of individual factors (gender, age, education, climate-related disaster experience and risk awareness, marital status, employment status, household income, and perceived social status) and societal factors (religion, organizational embeddedness, and political affiliations) with the above two dimensions. The results demonstrate that climate-related disaster experience has no significant impact on either the perception of global severity or the perception of personal impact. However, climate-related risk awareness (regarding typhoons, in particular) is positively associated with both dimensions of the perceived risks of climate change. With higher education, individuals are more concerned about global severity than personal threat. Regarding societal factors, the supporters of political parties have higher risk perceptions of climate change than people who have no party affiliation. Religious believers have higher risk perceptions of personal threat than non-religious people. This paper ends with a discussion about the effectiveness of efforts to enhance risk perception of climate change with regard to global severity and personal threat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle An Evidence-Based Review of Impacts, Strategies and Tools to Mitigate Urban Heat Islands
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121600
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (12565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impacts of climate changes on cities, which are home to over half of the world’s population, are already being felt. In many cases, the intensive speed with which urban centres have been growing means that little attention has been paid to the
[...] Read more.
The impacts of climate changes on cities, which are home to over half of the world’s population, are already being felt. In many cases, the intensive speed with which urban centres have been growing means that little attention has been paid to the role played by climatic factors in maintaining quality of life. Among the negative consequences of rapid city growth is the expansion of the problems posed by urban heat islands (UHIs), defined as areas in a city that are much warmer than other sites, especially in comparison with rural areas. This paper analyses the consistency of the UHI-related literature in three stages: first it outlines its characteristics and impacts in a wide variety of cities around the world, which poses pressures to public health in many different countries. Then it introduces strategies which may be employed in order to reduce its effects, and finally it analyses available tools to systematize the initial high level assessment of the phenomenon for multidisciplinary teams involved in the urban planning process. The analysis of literature on the characteristics, impacts, strategies and digital tools to assess on the UHI, reveals the wide variety of parameters, methods, tools and strategies analysed and suggested in the different studies, which does not always allow to compare or standardize the diagnosis or solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Climate Change, Health and Existential Risks to Civilization: A Comprehensive Review (1989–2013)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102266
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
PDF Full-text (2707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Anthropogenic global warming, interacting with social and other environmental determinants, constitutes a profound health risk. This paper reports a comprehensive literature review for 1989–2013 (inclusive), the first 25 years in which this topic appeared in scientific journals. It explores the extent to
[...] Read more.
Background: Anthropogenic global warming, interacting with social and other environmental determinants, constitutes a profound health risk. This paper reports a comprehensive literature review for 1989–2013 (inclusive), the first 25 years in which this topic appeared in scientific journals. It explores the extent to which articles have identified potentially catastrophic, civilization-endangering health risks associated with climate change. Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar were primarily used to identify articles which were then ranked on a three-point scale. Each score reflected the extent to which papers discussed global systemic risk. Citations were also analyzed. Results: Of 2143 analyzed papers 1546 (72%) were scored as one. Their citations (165,133) were 82% of the total. The proportion of annual papers scored as three was initially high, as were their citations but declined to almost zero by 1996, before rising slightly from 2006. Conclusions: The enormous expansion of the literature appropriately reflects increased understanding of the importance of climate change to global health. However, recognition of the most severe, existential, health risks from climate change was generally low. Most papers instead focused on infectious diseases, direct heat effects and other disciplinary-bounded phenomena and consequences, even though scientific advances have long called for more inter-disciplinary collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Impacts of Climate Change on Health and Wellbeing in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091884
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
PDF Full-text (628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Given its associated burden of disease, climate change in South Africa could be reframed as predominately a health issue, one necessitating an urgent health-sector response. The growing impact of climate change has major implications for South Africa, especially for the numerous vulnerable groups
[...] Read more.
Given its associated burden of disease, climate change in South Africa could be reframed as predominately a health issue, one necessitating an urgent health-sector response. The growing impact of climate change has major implications for South Africa, especially for the numerous vulnerable groups in the country. We systematically reviewed the literature by searching PubMed and Web of Science. Of the 820 papers screened, 34 were identified that assessed the impacts of climate change on health in the country. Most papers covered effects of heat on health or on infectious diseases (20/34; 59%). We found that extreme weather events are the most noticeable effects to date, especially droughts in the Western Cape, but rises in vector-borne diseases are gaining prominence. Climate aberration is also linked in myriad ways with outbreaks of food and waterborne diseases, and possibly with the recent Listeria epidemic. The potential impacts of climate change on mental health may compound the multiple social stressors that already beset the populace. Climate change heightens the pre-existing vulnerabilities of women, fishing communities, rural subsistence farmers and those living in informal settlements. Further gender disparities, eco-migration and social disruptions may undermine the prevention—but also treatment—of HIV. Our findings suggest that focused research and effective use of surveillance data are required to monitor climate change’s impacts; traditional strengths of the country’s health sector. The health sector, hitherto a fringe player, should assume a greater leadership role in promoting policies that protect the public’s health, address inequities and advance the country’s commitments to climate change accords. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Climate Change Impacts on Disaster and Emergency Medicine Focusing on Mitigation Disruptive Effects: an International Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071379
Received: 5 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
PDF Full-text (342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, climate change has been responsible for an increase in the average temperature of the troposphere and of the oceans, with consequences on the frequency and intensity of many extreme weather phenomena. Climate change’s effects on natural disasters can be expected
[...] Read more.
In recent decades, climate change has been responsible for an increase in the average temperature of the troposphere and of the oceans, with consequences on the frequency and intensity of many extreme weather phenomena. Climate change’s effects on natural disasters can be expected to induce a rise in humanitarian crises. In addition, it will surely impact the population’s long-term general health, especially among the most fragile. There are foreseeable health risks that both ambulatory care organizations and hospitals will face as global temperatures rise. These risks include the geographic redistribution of infectious (particularly zoonotic) diseases, an increase in cardiac and respiratory illnesses, as well as a host of other health hazards. Some of these risks have been detailed for most developed countries as well as for some developing countries. Using these existing risk assessments as a template, organizational innovations as well as implementation strategies should be proposed to mitigate the disruptive effects of these health risks on emergency departments and by extension, reduce the negative impact of climate change on the populations they serve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessReview Health Co-Benefits of Green Building Design Strategies and Community Resilience to Urban Flooding: A Systematic Review of the Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121519
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate change is increasingly exacerbating existing population health hazards, as well as resulting in new negative health effects. Flooding is one particularly deadly example of its amplifying and expanding effect on public health. This systematic review considered evidence linking green building strategies in
[...] Read more.
Climate change is increasingly exacerbating existing population health hazards, as well as resulting in new negative health effects. Flooding is one particularly deadly example of its amplifying and expanding effect on public health. This systematic review considered evidence linking green building strategies in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) Rating System with the potential to reduce negative health outcomes following exposure to urban flooding events. Queries evaluated links between LEED credit requirements and risk of exposure to urban flooding, environmental determinants of health, co-benefits to public health outcomes, and co-benefits to built environment outcomes. Public health co-benefits to leveraging green building design to enhance flooding resilience included: improving the interface between humans and wildlife and reducing the risk of waterborne disease, flood-related morbidity and mortality, and psychological harm. We conclude that collaborations among the public health, climate change, civil society, and green building sectors to enhance community resilience to urban flooding could benefit population health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessOpinion Assessment of the Public Health Threats Posed by Vector-Borne Disease in the United Kingdom (UK)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102145
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 29 September 2018
PDF Full-text (3191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, the known distribution of vector-borne diseases in Europe has changed, with much new information also available now on the status of vectors in the United Kingdom (UK). For example, in 2016, the UK reported their first detection of the non-native
[...] Read more.
In recent years, the known distribution of vector-borne diseases in Europe has changed, with much new information also available now on the status of vectors in the United Kingdom (UK). For example, in 2016, the UK reported their first detection of the non-native mosquito Aedes albopictus, which is a known vector for dengue and chikungunya virus. In 2010, Culex modestus, a principal mosquito vector for West Nile virus was detected in large numbers in the Thames estuary. For tick-borne diseases, data on the changing distribution of the Lyme borreliosis tick vector, Ixodes ricinus, has recently been published, at a time when there has been an increase in the numbers of reported human cases of Lyme disease. This paper brings together the latest surveillance data and pertinent research on vector-borne disease in the UK, and its relevance to public health. It highlights the need for continued vector surveillance systems to monitor our native mosquito and tick fauna, as well as the need to expand surveillance for invasive species. It illustrates the importance of maintaining surveillance capacity that is sufficient to ensure accurate and timely disease risk assessment to help mitigate the UK’s changing emerging infectious disease risks, especially in a time of climatic and environmental change and increasing global connectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective Management of Leishmaniases in the Era of Climate Change in Morocco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071542
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
PDF Full-text (613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The proliferation of vector-borne diseases are predicted to increase in a changing climate and Leishmaniases, as a vector-borne diseases, are re-emerging diseases in several regions of the world. In Morocco, during the last decade, a sharp increase in cutaneous leishmaniases cases has been
[...] Read more.
The proliferation of vector-borne diseases are predicted to increase in a changing climate and Leishmaniases, as a vector-borne diseases, are re-emerging diseases in several regions of the world. In Morocco, during the last decade, a sharp increase in cutaneous leishmaniases cases has been reported. Nevertheless, in Morocco, leishmaniases are a major public health problem, and little interest was given to climate change impacts on the distribution and spread of these diseases. As insect-borne diseases, the incidence and distribution of leishmaniases are influenced by environmental changes, but also by several socio-economic and cultural factors. From a biological point of view, environmental variables have effects on the survival of insect vectors and mammalian reservoirs, which, in turn, affects transmission. Here, we highlight the effects of climate change in Morocco and discuss its consequences on the epidemiology of leishmaniases to identify challenges and define targeted recommendations to fight this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top