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Über dieses Buch

This book discusses regional and international climate-change, air- pollution and human-health scenarios. The research, from both industrialized and developing countries, focuses on region-specific perspectives of climate change impacts on air pollution. After analyzing the variations of climate data over recent decades, the authors consider the different effects of climate change on air pollution and health. As stressed by the IPCC, “pollen, smoke and ozone levels are likely to increase in a warming world, affecting the health of residents of major cities. Rising temperatures will worsen air quality through a combination of more ozone in cities, bigger wild fires and worse pollen outbreaks,” according to a major UN climate report. The report follows the World Health Organization in finding that air pollution is the world’s greatest environmental health risk, killing 7 million people in 2014 (compared to 0.4 million deaths due to malaria). Deteriorating air quality will most affect the elderly, children, people with chronic ill-health and expectant mothers. Another report suggests that more than 5.5 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution with over half of those deaths occurring in China and India. A study on the air pollution in the USA,suggests that more than half of US population lives in areas with potentially dangerous air pollution, and about six out of 10 of the top cities for air pollution in the USA are located in the state of California.

In the face of future climate change, scientists have urged stronger emission controls to avoid worsening air pollution and the associated exacerbation of health problems, especially in more populated regions of the world. It is hoped that the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement will help minimize air pollution.

Additionally the authors consider the various measures that different countries and groups of countries, like the European Union, have adopted to mitigate the problems arising from climate change and to safeguard the health of population. The book examines the increasing incidence of diseases largely caused by climate change. The countries/regions covered in this study include the USA, Northern Europe (U.K).,Southern Europe ( Italy), Canada, Australia, East Asia, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Caribbean countries, and Argentina.





Chapter 1. Climate Change and Air Pollution: An Introduction

Concern about air pollution has been known for thousands of years. Complaints about its effects on human health and the built environment were first voiced by the citizens of ancient Athens and Rome. Urban air quality, however, worsened during the Industrial Revolution, as the widespread use of coal in factories in Britain, Germany, the United States and other nations ushered in an “age of smoke” (Mosley, 2014). As urban areas developed, pollution sources, such as chimneys and industrial processes, were concentrated, leading to visible and damaging pollution dominated by smoke. This introductory chapter discusses about the impact of climate change on the level air pollution, and at same time highlights that Weather and climate play important roles in determining patterns of air quality over multiple scales in time and space, owing to the fact that emissions, transport, dilution, chemical transformation, and eventual deposition of air pollutants all can be influenced by meteorological variables such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and mixing height.The chapter quoted empirical studies on air pollution and impact on human health in both from developed and developing countries.
Rais Akhtar, Cosimo Palagiano

Chapter 2. Air Quality in Changing Climate: Implications for Health Impacts

Poor air quality is a leading risk factor for global disease. Two major pollutants – fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and surface ozone – are also linked to climate change. A unified framework to quantify the morbidity and mortality burden from air pollution exposure was developed in Global Burden of Disease Study. 1500 and 2200 premature deaths from ozone and ambient PM2.5 exposure can be attributed to past climate change (from pre-industrial era to present day). For the future, air pollution exposure can be quantified by four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) emission scenarios in a modelling framework. In addition to the role of climate change in modulating air quality in future, the changes in socio-economic and demographic condition of the future population are also expected to determine the burden due to air pollution. These may be quantified using the demographic and socioeconomic drivers used in formulating the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) scenarios. Combining the SSP and RCP scenarios in a scenario matrix framework would lead to the estimate of premature mortality burden for the future within an uncertainty range that can drive the policymakers to exercise adequate mitigation measures, which are expected to facilitate a healthier and climate secure society in future.
Sourangsu Chowdhury, Sagnik Dey

Chapter 3. International Conferences on Sustainable Development and Climate from Rio de Janeiro to Paris

To cope with the problems caused by global warming whose effects began to be felt in the second half of the twentieth century, 21 summits have been held in order to identify the causes and the measures to be taken for a sustainable solution to the problem. This article reviews the results obtained in the various summits, highlighting both their positive and negative aspects and emphasizing the close relationships between climatic and territorial conditions. This approach is inevitable given the disastrous consequences that would result if the current trend of climate change were to escape human control, at least for that part of it caused by human activities.
We examine the current state of affairs by studying the causes that led to such a situation, the seriousness of which the major powers seem unable to accept nor find acceptable solutions that would reduce the dangers. A decisive role has been played by increased pollution in its many forms (agriculture, industry, domestic heating, traffic, etc.) caused by the use of fossil fuels that have led to an impressive increase in greenhouse gas emissions, with inevitable repercussions on the increase in the global temperature of the planet. Numerous global conferences have been held with the explicit aim of setting up the necessary safeguards, whose results to date have not, unfortunately, led to final decisions but to mere declarations of willingness to resolve the issue. All this has had and has an immediate feedback in further health-related issues, due to an increase in diseases closely related to environmental pollution, as well as the growing desertification of many areas resulting in a reduced quality of life.
Giovanni De Santis, Claudia Bortone

Chapter 4. COP21 in Paris: Politics of Climate Change

An attempt has been made to discuss various dimensions of Paris Climate Agreement, its likely impact on the levels of global warming, and various voices in favour of and against the climate deal, and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement under President Donald Trump. Since USA backed out from the Paris Agreement, China and India are bound to re-visit their commitments on emissions, and the future of our planetary world looks bleak.
Rais Akhtar

Case Studies: Developed Countries/Regions


Chapter 5. Climate Change Impacts on Air Pollution in Northern Europe

The impacts of climate change on air pollution are discussed in the context of Northern Europe. Europe as a whole benefits from a wealth of data and statistics from the European Environment Agency and the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme that also considers long-range transboundary air pollution and its own EU air quality standards. In this region projected future air quality levels are determined not only by climate change impacts affecting the regional to local-scale air pollution but also by climate drivers and phenomena that change hemispheric background pollution levels. This chapter reviews the impacts on air pollution in Northern Europe associated with projections of greenhouse gas emissions and emissions of pollutant primary species and precursors for the future, produced for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Studies relating these air pollution impacts to future changes in air pollution-related mortality and morbidity for Europe are also presented.
Ruth M. Doherty, Fiona M. O’Connor

Chapter 6. The Impact of Climate Change and Air Pollution in the Southern European Countries

The extension of Europe from the North to the South, i.e., from Knivskjellodden in Magerøya Island in Norway at 71° 11′ 08″ N and the Isola delle Correnti in Sicily at 36°38′44″N, is of 35°, with a difference in latitude of about 35°. We pass from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, with a significant difference in temperature and rainfall. In addition the population density varies from 15.5 inhabitants per to about 196 inhabitants per, about 13 times more. The climate parameters and the distribution of population have considerable importance in air pollution and in its variation.
In the Southern European countries, which we consider in this chapter, the car traffic and the solar irradiation have a great impact on the pollution, together with the industrial pollution.
Cosimo Palagiano, Rossella Belluso

Chapter 7. Canada: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health

Canada is a very large country with a very sparse population. As one of the highest-latitude countries in the northern hemisphere, it is exposed to extreme effects of climate change. Many of these effects have an impact on air quality. Canada is also one of the world’s largest economies, with its wealth tightly linked to natural resource extraction. This resource dependency has led to a remarkable awareness of the potentially negative consequences of a resource-based economy on the environment, climate change, and air quality and, hence, to a tension between economic development and environmental protection. Canada has the ability to invest significantly in the monitoring and modelling of air quality. In translating this knowledge to the medical community and the general public, health risks related to air pollution could be mitigated and better health could be promoted. However, monitoring efforts should focus far more on the spatial dimension, in addition to the temporal one, owing to the great expanse of Canada’s geography.
Stefania Bertazzon, Fox Underwood

Chapter 8. Climate Change, Forest Fires, and Health in California

Wildland fire is an important component to ecological health in California forests. Wildland fire smoke is a risk factor to human health. Exposure to smoke from fire cannot be eliminated, but managed fire in a fire-prone ecosystem for forest health and resiliency allows exposure to be mitigated while promoting other ecosystem services that benefit people. The California Sierra Nevada is a paragon of land management policy in a fire-prone natural system. Past fire suppression has led to extreme fuel loading where extreme fire events are much more likely, particularly with climate change increasing the length of fire season and the probability of extreme weather. We use the California Sierra Nevada to showcase the clash of increased development and urbanization, past land management policy, future scenarios including climate change, and the intertwining of ecological health and human health. Fire suppression to avoid smoke impact has proven to be an unreliable way to decrease smoke-related health impacts. Instead ecological beneficial fires should be employed, and their management should be based on smoke impacts at monitors, making air monitoring the foundation of fire management actions giving greater flexibility for managing fires. Tolerance of smoke impacts from restoration fire that is best for forest health and resiliency, as well as for human health, is paramount and preferred over the political expediency of reducing smoke impacts today that ignores that we are mortgaging these impacts to future generations.
Ricardo Cisneros, Don Schweizer, Leland (Lee) Tarnay, Kathleen Navarro, David Veloz, C. Trent Procter

Chapter 9. Air Pollution and Climate Change in Australia: A Triple Burden

This chapter mainly focuses on air pollution, with less stress on the health problems of climate change, which, conceptually, is also a form of air pollution, due to the changing composition of atmospheric trace gases. Air quality in Australia is comparatively good, by global standards, due to its large area, low population, and widespread development. However, there are areas of Australia which have significant health problems from dirty air, particularly in association with coal-burning power stations, from the combustion of wood for heating during winter and from vehicles in the large cities. Australia is also a major exporter of greenhouse gases, both as fossil fuels (coal and gas), and of beef and sheep. Much can be done to reduce this triple burden of impaired air quality, domestic climate change and exported climate change, but this requires major changes to consciousness in Australia, and greater willingness to oppose vested interests which profit from ageing paradigms of progress which discount health and environmental costs. The falling cost of renewable energy, especially, gives hope that such challenges will be increasingly successful, but additional solutions are needed to reduce the burning of wood for heat.
Colin D. Butler, James Whelan

Chapter 10. Epidemiological Consequences of Climate Change (with Special Reference to Malaria in Russia)

Climatic conditions play a major role among natural factors determining human’s existence. The factor of climate change is considered among other known risk factors to population health. In particular, climate leads to the changes in borders and structure of the areas of infectious and parasitic illnesses. The most serious climate changes are expected in mid- to high latitudes, especially in cities, where anthropogenic activity and air pollution cause exacerbating effect. Within the framework of this study, we try to elaborate a prognostic model of epidemiological conditions of the vivax malaria for the territory of the European part of Russia and Western Siberia. Forecasting was based on the results of climate modeling CMIP3 project under the “A2” IPCC scenario. As a result of forecasting, it is revealed that in the future (2046–2065), favorability of climatic conditions for malaria transmission will increase. The most remarkable changes are expected in the areas situated near southern limits of the considered territories.
Svetlana M. Malkhazova, Natalia V. Shartova, Varvara A. Mironova

Chapter 11. Climate Change and Projections of Temperature-Related Mortality

The impacts of increasing year-round temperatures on mortality from all non-accidental, all cardiovascular, and all non-cardiovascular causes were examined in the city of Akchangelsk in Russian North, where the climate change signal is expected to be stronger than the global average. Projections of future daily temperatures were made for IPCC B2, A1B, and A2 greenhouse gas emission scenarios using regional downscaling of the selected ensemble of 16 general circulation models. The distributed lag nonlinear models were used to estimate 30-day cumulative risks of the exposure to heat and cold. The projected changes in annual fractions of deaths attributed to nonoptimal temperatures are negative and not significant at 95% confidence level for all categories of mortality and emission pathways included in the study. The benefits of reduced cold-related mortality will most likely outweigh the negative impacts of higher heat-related mortality during the projection period 2045–2056. However, this situation may be reversed in the longer run.
Dmitry Shaposhnikov, Boris Revich

Chapter 12. Climate Change and Air Quality in Southeastern China: Hong Kong Study

As climate change continues to unfold over the next several decades in response to increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the effects of climate change and future air quality will be more noticeable and observable. Understanding future climate and air quality has become one of the highest priorities for many countries and individual cities, where mitigation and adaptation could be planned. In Hong Kong, local government has pledged to reduce the GHG emissions by 60–65% from the 2005 level (i.e., 40 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in 2005) by 2030. The reduction focuses mainly on local energy saving, alternative transportation, and green energy generation. As Hong Kong moves into less carbon-intense technologies in both transportation and energy sectors, this much needed change will benefit the city’s local air quality. Currently, no long-term carbon reduction plan for 2050 has been identified in the government.
In terms of future air quality projections, strong relationships between emissions and pollutant concentrations have been observed in Southeastern China under the IPCC AR5 scenarios, where the reduction of regional emissions (e.g., SO2, NOx, and PM) has a great effect on future PM2.5 air quality. Overall, PM2.5 air quality over Pearl River Delta region has shown a clear improvement in 2050 under RCP8.5 emission scenario, with a mean concentration reduction of 5–15% (up to 12 μg/m3). For ozone, a slight increase (i.e., 0–3%) of annual mean has been projected, which may be due to the combined effect of slow emission reduction of NMVOCs and less NOx titration in the VOCs limited regime. In addition, some studies also projected the increase of typhoons tracking near Taiwan Strait in the future climate would increase the occurrence of summer ozone episodes in Hong Kong.
Yun Fat Lam

Case Studies: Developing Countries/Regions


Chapter 13. Trends and Seasonal Variations of Climate, Air Quality, and Mortality in Three Major Cities in Taiwan

The interactions among climate change, air pollution, and human health are multiple and complex. Many epidemiological studies in Taiwan have consistently demonstrated the effects of short-term exposures to extreme weather events, particulate matter, and traffic-related air pollutants on a variety of health effects. However, these findings might not explain or predict overall seasonal mortality patterns to provide insights into the drivers of mortality acting on society levels for public health policy and practice. There are very limited studies on seasonality of weather, air pollution, and mortality in Taiwan. The objectives of this study are to evaluate if there are any changes in trends and seasonality of mortality in three major Taiwanese cities from 1991 to 2010 and examine its association with climatic condition and air pollution. Among these major Taiwanese cities, seasonal mortality patterns are similar in two subtropical cities, Taipei and Taichung, compared to another tropical city, Kaohsiung. Taipei had significantly increased trends in most monthly temperature variables and the number of hot days examined during 1991–2010 compared to the other two cities. Winter/summer ratios of mortality only showed a decreased trend in Taipei, but not in Taichung or Kaohsiung. Mean monthly ambient temperature was also found as the most optimal temperature variable for predicting all-cause monthly mortality at all three cities in this study. Seasonal mortality patterns in three cities were with higher levels of deaths from December to March. Trends in air quality are showing mixed patterns over the past two decades. SO2, CO, and NOx concentrations have decreased significantly and steadily, while O3 has significantly increased in recent years. In three major Taiwanese cities, O3 and PM10 are major air pollutants of current concerns. The results of this study showed that monthly mean O3, PM10, and NOx levels and monthly mortality were not closely related, but temperature-related variables were positively associated with monthly mortality among three major Taiwanese cities. Moreover, changes in other socioeconomic and demographic factors may also play a key role in determining seasonality mortality and morbidity and need to be considered in future studies.
Mei-Hui Li

Chapter 14. Climate Change and Urban Air Pollution Health Impacts in Indonesia

Climate change in Indonesia greatly affects economy, poor population, human health, and the environment. It influences air pollutant emissions as higher emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have caused rapidly worsening air pollution. Urban areas being most affected by air pollution. The transportation sector contributes the most (80%) to the air pollution followed by emissions from industry, forest fires, and domestic activities. The large number of vehicles together with lack of infrastructure results in major traffic congestions resulting in high levels of air polluting substances, which have a significant negative effect on public health. Current air pollution problems are greatest in Indonesia as it caused 50% of morbidity across the country. Diseases stemming from vehicular emissions and air pollution include acute respiratory infection, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and eye, skin irritations, lung cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. The prevalence and incidence rate of diseases related to air pollution is predicted to become worse in the near future since the range growth of energy consumption is about 6–8% per year. It is impacted to the increasing of NOx up to 51% (from 814 kt/year in 2015 to 1,225 kt/year in 2030), PM2.5 up to 26% (from 87.7 kt/year in 2015 to 110.5 kt/year in 2030), as well as other pollutants such as SO2, PM10, VOC, and O3. Most recently, some studies on developing scenarios for reducing emission have been conducted. These include analysis of fuel economy and the time effective for Euro 4 standard implementation as compliment to transportation improvement policy in Indonesia, in which it suggested that the government of Indonesia must enhance energy security and mitigate CO2 emissions, improve efficiency in energy production and use, increase reliance on non-fossil fuels, and sustain the domestic supply of oil and gas through decreased fossil fuel consumption, support the use of proposed breakthrough technologies, and protect human health from air pollution by conducting more research on health vulnerability and implementing more effective adaptation of human health.
Budi Haryanto

Chapter 15. Climate Change and Air Pollution in Malaysia

Air pollution due to anthropological activities and natural disasters are the major challenges for environmental issues for last few decades. Human activities and population growth aggregate the atmospheric composition and damaged Earth’s atmosphere. Southeast Asia (SEA) is facing with natural disasters such as flood and tsunami that are challenging international attempts to address these issues for climate change. Transboundary haze is one of the significant environmental issues in SEA since 1983. The transboundary haze pollution has adverse impacts on environment due to greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions as well as ecosystem and biodiversity which caused climate changes in recent decades.
Nasrin Aghamohammadi, Marzuki Isahak

Chapter 16. Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Human Health in Bangkok

While a number of studies have published the health effects of climate change and air pollution, little has been studied in Thailand on the health effects following interactions between air pollution and climate change.
The aim of the study was to explore the interplays between climate change and air pollution and how these in turn impact on human health among residents of Bangkok, Thailand.
We conducted a descriptive study based on existing data on air pollution from Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, data on number of vehicles from the Transport Statistics Subdivision under Thailand’s Department of Land Transport, data on rainfall and temperature from the Thai Meteorological Department, data on health outcomes from Thailand Ministry of Public Health, and demographic data from the Department of Provincial Administration.
As of 2016, the Pollution Control Department of Thailand had a total of 17 air pollution monitoring stations around Bangkok, including 6 roadside and 11 general area stations. While there has been a downward trend in PM10 concentrations from 1992 to 2015, PM2.5 concentrations have not only been above-recommended standards but also going up. The number of registered vehicles in Bangkok peaked at more than one million in 2013, but since then a declining trend has been observed. In Bangkok, temperatures peaked around April, while rainfall peaked during the month of September. Overall, both annual minimum and maximum temperatures have been going up since 1951. The average amount of rainfall received monthly had two peaks, first in May and later in September. From 1951 to 2015, the mean annual rainfall in Thailand went below 1400 mm only in 1977, 1979, and 1992. Mortality rates due to diseases of the circulatory and respiratory system have also been going up since 2010, with mortality rates per 100,000 population higher among males than females. While the number of outpatients due to diseases of the circulatory system continues to increase, outpatients due to respiratory diseases peaked around 2010, and since then a downward trend has been observed.
Results suggest possible correlations between air pollution-climate change interactions and mortality due to diseases of the respiratory and circulatory systems.
Uma Langkulsen, Desire Rwodzi

Chapter 17. Climate Change, Air Pollution and Human Health in Delhi, India

Over centuries, the Indian capital of Delhi has been the seat of power for several empires. Today, however, Delhi finds itself in the unenviable position of being among the world’s most polluted cities. Mitigating air pollution as well as greenhouse gases in Delhi without adversely impacting development remains a crucial goal. Further, climate change has profound impacts that Delhi must adapt to. From a health perspective, in addition to health impacts of pollution, addressing health impacts of climate change such as heatwaves is important.
This chapter understands the transitions of key drivers of energy use such as population, vehicle use and per capita incomes that in turn drive emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. It provides estimates of greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions from Delhi. It estimates pollution as well as future heat-related mortality for Delhi. Finally, it argues that policies for GHG as well as pollutant mitigation require to be better aligned. This will ensure that health co-benefits are accrued for Delhi.
Hem H. Dholakia, Amit Garg

Chapter 18. Climate Change and Air Pollution in Mumbai

Climate change and global warming are potential threats to the existence of living beings, and it is increasingly noticed in recent years. Consistent increase in population growth and activities undertaken for furthering socio-economic development, with the application of technologies, not only exhaust resources but also pollute environment, thereby resulting in environmental degradation. Climate change affects all sections of population and more to the vulnerable sections like elderly and children. Amongst various adverse climatic conditions, air pollution is a major one, as it affects health and wellbeing of the population. Epidemiological studies in cities like Mumbai have revealed that with raised pollution levels, there was an increased occurrence of dyspnoea, chronic and intermittent cough, frequent colds, chronic bronchitis, cardiac disorders, high blood pressure and deaths due to non-tuberculosis respiratory and ischaemic heart diseases. The city of Mumbai, which is considered as a case study for the paper, is the capital city of Maharashtra state. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is implementing various environmental legislations in the state along with various other organisations which are promoting good practices of afforestation, solid waste management and traffic diversions of road ways to curtail the pollutants in the environment. To mention a few, with the projects like Eastern Freeway, Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road and Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road, it is expected that the connectivity of various areas of the Mumbai city is well networked and these measures are greatly contributing to combat air pollution in the region. To tackle further the issues related to environmental degradation, it is important to act at individual level as well as collectively. Hence, the city dwellers have a major role to play, in protecting the ecosystem of the city, and to actively participate in anti-pollution measures. The paper focuses on various aspects related to climate change scenario and its impacts, with a specific reference to Mumbai by critically analysing various reports and secondary data on climate change and air pollution issues.
S. Siva Raju, Khushboo Ahire

Chapter 19. Climate Change and Air Pollution in East Asia: Taking Transboundary Air Pollution into Account

Co-benefit and co-control of SLCPs is the key concept to tackle simultaneously with problems of transboundary air pollution and climate change. Especially in East Asia, severe air pollution causing millions of premature mortality by PM2.5 and ozone should be solved without delay as well as mitigation of global warming. Cost-benefit approach discussed in this chapter is one of the most effective and rational way to lead the feasible and appropriate policy for the challenge we need to do.
Ken Yamashita, Yasushi Honda

Chapter 20. Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health in South Africa

Climate change and air pollution pose significant short-term and long-term health risks to South Africans due to the carbon intensity of the national economy, the severe air pollution around coal mining and coal-fired power stations in many widespread populated areas and the particular vulnerability of many subgroups in a country burdened by extreme inequality and a severe quadruple epidemic of acute and chronic disease.
There are limited local studies on the respiratory, cardiovascular and other health risks of air pollution. Inadequate disease surveillance and air quality data pose a challenge for monitoring and research.
A number of interventions to mitigate or adapt to climate change with important co-benefits for air quality and public health are described for the following economic sectors: energy, industry, human settlements, transport, healthcare and business sector.
There is good policy commitment to address climate change and air pollution, but implementation needs to be drastically improved.
Eugene Cairncross, Aqiel Dalvie, Rico Euripidou, James Irlam, Rajen Nithiseelan Naidoo

Chapter 21. The Impact of Climate Change and Air Pollution on the Caribbean

A review of air pollution, the impact of climate change on air pollution, and the population health impacts of these in the Caribbean region are discussed. Air quality standards are not usually enforced in many Caribbean countries thereby increasing the risks of morbidity and mortality from exposure to air pollutants. Among people living in the Caribbean, an increase in respiratory diseases such as asthma has been linked to exposure to air pollutants resulting from natural events and especially human activities. Unfortunately, dependence on fossil fuels (regionally and globally), poor land use and waste management, and industrialization all contribute to poor air quality in the Caribbean. In addition, climate change is predicted to exacerbate air pollution and its negative health effects in a region considered to be one of the most vulnerable to global climate change. Key drivers of air pollution in the region are discussed, and recommendations on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies are highlighted.
Muge Akpinar-Elci, Olaniyi Olayinka

Chapter 22. Compounding Factors: Air Pollution and Climate Variability in Mexico City

In early 2016, Mexico City suffered from repeated severe episodes of high ozone concentrations. Tropospheric ozone is a secondary compound produced by precursors such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. However, other conditions such as cloud coverage, solar radiation, humidity, wind speed, and temperature play a significant role on the rate at which ground-level ozone forms. During periods of low precipitation, that is, March through May 2016, Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) witnessed high concentrations of tropospheric ozone. We look at the correlation between the occurrence of El Niño events, meteorological conditions, and ground concentration of ozone. We also describe other features of MCMA that can contribute to explain this deterioration of air quality as well as discuss health and economic costs this may entail. We finally address some public policies that may help reduce low air quality in this and other metropolitan areas.
María Eugenia Ibarrarán, Iván Islas, José Abraham Ortínez

Chapter 23. Air Pollution, Climate Change, and Human Health in Brazil

Air pollution, especially after the industrial revolution, has adversely affected human health both in Brazil and worldwide. In Brazil, the most common pollutants are associated with biomass burning and the energy sector (transport) and include aldehydes, sulfur dioxide nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons (methane and non-methane), particulate matter, and ozone. These gases accumulate in the stratosphere and may influence both directly and indirectly the greenhouse effect which, in turn, impacts the climate and human health. The combination of changes in precipitation and temperature patterns coupled with increased pollution may intensify problems related to infectious diseases, coronary-respiratory diseases, cancer, and premature death, among other health issues. Surveys designed locally may reveal where the data is insufficient and what information on climate risks and associated health conditions need to be better understood. This may provide accurate information on national policies and support the most urgent adaptation actions to the populations at risk.
Júlia Alves Menezes, Carina Margonari, Rhavena Barbosa Santos, Ulisses Confalonieri

Chapter 24. Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Infectious Diseases: A New Epidemiological Scenario in Argentina

Over the past 50 years, human activity, in particular the consumption of fossil fuels, has released quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases sufficient to retain more heat in the lower layers of the atmosphere and to alter global climate. Sea level is increasing, glaciers are melting, and rainfall regimes are changing. Extreme weather events are becoming more intense and frequent. On the other hand, it is estimated that by 2030, climate change will increase the risk of some health parameters to double. Health effects related to climate change can be either direct, as heat waves, or indirect, through changes in vectors, water quality, and food, which favors the onset of diseases. Our intention is to provide the reader with what is being done in Argentina about these diseases provoked and increased by climate change. Of course, when answering questions like these, we should limit ourselves to making a report of each particular noxa, despite the obvious importance of it, and to stop in those with the greatest impact in the country.
Daniel Oscar Lipp



Chapter 25. Summary and Conclusion

Concern about air pollution has been known for thousands of years. “Complaints about its effects on human health and the built environment were first voiced by the citizens of ancient Athens and Rome. Urban air quality, however, worsened during the Industrial Revolution, as the widespread use of coal in factories in Britain, Germany, the United States and other nations ushered in an ‘age of smoke’” (Mosley 2014). As urban areas developed, pollution sources, such as chimneys and industrial processes, were concentrated, leading to visible and damaging pollution dominated by smoke. The harmful effects of air pollution were recognized by Hippocrates in his fifth-century treatise Air, Water and Places; Hippocrates noted that people’s health could be affected by the air they breathe and that quality of the air differed by area (cited in Adams 1891).
Rais Akhtar, Cosimo Palagiano


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