Special Issue "Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2011)
There is a general agreement in the scientific community that climate has a significant impact on human health and well-being. Climate change is expected to affect frequency and severity of health risks, especially in developing countries and in the most vulnerable population, such as children, the elderly, people in poor health and the urban poor. Some impacts are expected to be favorable but most of them will be negative. There is still, however, considerable uncertainty as to the magnitude of the overall health impacts, both in physical and economic terms, due to the multifaceted interactions between climate and health, the complex dynamics of some illnesses (e.g. malaria), the existing reciprocal relationship between them and the many socio-economic factors which may contribute to health vulnerability. Further uncertainty is related to the socio-economic growth which is expected to decrease health vulnerability.
Population vulnerability can be reduced by putting in place adaptation strategies, which can be reactive and preventive, hard and soft, planned and autonomous, short- and long-term, all of them being complementary forms. Although past studies have put more emphasis on public hard adaptation, it is generally recognized that soft adaptation is more cost-effective, while avoiding massive investments. When assessing adaptation, a key issue is the complexity in distinguishing between development deficit and adaptation deficit, especially in developing countries.
This issue represents an effort to analyse the major health vulnerabilities to climate change, the related economic and social impacts, as well as the most cost-effective adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability under climate variability.
Dr. Aline Chiabai
- climate change
- human health
- health impacts development goals
- economic assessment