#Catastrophic #effects of #climatechange on #children’s #health start before #birth (J Clin Invest., summary)

[Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

Catastrophic effects of climate change on children’s health start before birth

Susan E. Pacheco

First published January 13, 2020


When I first paid attention to the magnitude of the climate crisis in 2006, it was hard to accept that I had been indifferent to the problem for so many years. As a pediatrician, it did not take long to realize that children, whose bodies and minds are still developing and who are dependent on adults for care, are the most tragic casualties of the climate crisis. The shift in weather patterns, increased heat, heat waves, and drought; the resulting wildfires, increased storm intensity and flooding, crop failure and lower nutritional value, and shifting pattern of infectious vectors; and the resulting air pollution from continued use of fossil fuels impose a heavy burden in children, whose inherent physical and emotional immaturity makes them more vulnerable to these insults.


Keywords: Climate change; Global Warming; Pediatrics.


#Global #warming threatens #human #thermoregulation and #survival (J Clin Invest., summary)

[Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

Global warming threatens human thermoregulation and survival

Rexford S. Ahima

First published January 6, 2020


There is overwhelming evidence showing that human activities have contributed to global warming over the past century. Global warming has a severe impact on food and water supplies, housing and other infrastructure, health, and economic activities. The human body has thermoregulatory mechanisms that adapt to ambient temperature and maintain normal core body temperature for physiological functions. This JCI Viewpoint article discusses how extreme temperatures driven by global warming disrupt normal thermoregulation and imperil human health and survival.


Keywords: Climate change; Global Warming; Infectious diseases.


#Climatechange brings the #specter of new #infectious diseases (J Clin Invest., summary)

[Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

Climate change brings the specter of new infectious diseases

Arturo Casadevall

First published January 6, 2020


Climate change will bring major changes to the epidemiology of infectious diseases through changes in microbial and vector geographic range. Human defenses against microbial diseases rely on advanced immunity that includes innate and adaptive arms and endothermy, which creates a thermal restriction zone for many microbes. Given that microbes can adapt to higher temperatures, there is concern that global warming will select for microbes with higher heat tolerance that can defeat our endothermy defenses and bring new infectious disease.


Keywords: Climate Change; Global Warming; Infectious Diseases.


#Disappearance of the last #tropical #glaciers in the Western Pacific Warm Pool (#Papua, #Indonesia) appears imminent (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Disappearance of the last tropical glaciers in the Western Pacific Warm Pool (Papua, Indonesia) appears imminent

Donaldi S. Permana, Lonnie G. Thompson, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Mary E. Davis, Ping-Nan Lin, Julien P. Nicolas, John F. Bolzan, Broxton W. Bird, Vladimir N. Mikhalenko, Paolo Gabrielli, Victor Zagorodnov, Keith R. Mountain, Ulrich Schotterer, Wido Hanggoro, Muhammad N. Habibie, Yohanes Kaize, Dodo Gunawan, Gesang Setyadi, Raden D. Susanto, Alfonso Fernández, and Bryan G. Mark

PNAS first published December 9, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1822037116

Edited by Michael L. Bender, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and approved November 5, 2019 (received for review December 27, 2018)



The glaciers near Puncak Jaya, Papua, Indonesia, the last tropical glaciers in the Western Pacific Warm Pool, have recently undergone a rapid pace of loss of ice cover and a 5.4-fold increase in the rate of thinning, augmented by the strong 2015–2016 El Niño. Ice cores recovered in 2010 record approximately the past half-century of tropical Pacific climate variability and reveal the effects of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It appears that the regional warming has passed a threshold such that the next very strong ENSO event, which typically exacerbates the rising freezing levels and associated feedbacks such as reduced snow cover, could lead to the demise of the only remaining tropical glaciers between the Himalayas and the Andes.



The glaciers near Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia, the highest peak between the Himalayas and the Andes, are the last remaining tropical glaciers in the West Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP). Here, we report the recent, rapid retreat of the glaciers near Puncak Jaya by quantifying the loss of ice coverage and reduction of ice thickness over the last 8 y. Photographs and measurements of a 30-m accumulation stake anchored to bedrock on the summit of one of these glaciers document a rapid pace in the loss of ice cover and a ∼5.4-fold increase in the thinning rate, which was augmented by the strong 2015–2016 El Niño. At the current rate of ice loss, these glaciers will likely disappear within the next decade. To further understand the mechanisms driving the observed retreat of these glaciers, 2 ∼32-m-long ice cores to bedrock recovered in mid-2010 are used to reconstruct the tropical Pacific climate variability over approximately the past half-century on a quasi-interannual timescale. The ice core oxygen isotopic ratios show a significant positive linear trend since 1964 CE (0.018 ± 0.008‰ per year; P < 0.03) and also suggest that the glaciers’ retreat is augmented by El Niño–Southern Oscillation processes, such as convection and warming of the atmosphere and sea surface. These Papua glaciers provide the only tropical records of ice core-derived climate variability for the WPWP.

glacier retreat – tropical ice cores – Papua Indonesia – climate change – ENSO



1 To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: donaldi.permana@bmkg.go.id or thompson.3@osu.edu.

Author contributions: L.G.T., E.M.-T., and R.D.S. designed research; D.S.P., L.G.T., E.M.-T., M.E.D., P.-N.L., B.W.B., V.N.M., P.G., V.Z., K.R.M., W.H., M.N.H., Y.K., D.G., G.S., and R.D.S. performed research; D.S.P., L.G.T., M.E.D., P.-N.L., J.P.N., J.F.B., U.S., A.F., and B.G.M. analyzed data; D.S.P., L.G.T., E.M.-T., and M.E.D. wrote the paper; D.S.P., L.G.T., V.N.M., P.G., V.Z., K.R.M., W.H., Y.K., D.G., G.S., and R.D.S. supported the ice core drilling project and collected ice core samples; D.S.P., L.G.T., K.R.M., W.H., M.N.H., Y.K., and G.S. measured the stake accumulation; M.E.D., and P.-N.L. conducted the ice core stable isotope, dust, and chemical analyses; and U.S. conducted the ice core tritium analysis.

The authors declare no competing interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

Data deposition: The data reported in this paper have been archived at the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) World Data Center for Paleoclimatology: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/ice-core; https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/24351.

This article contains supporting information online at https://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1822037116/-/DCSupplemental.

Published under the PNAS license.


Keywords: Climate Change; Global Warmings; Indonesia.


#Epidemic #dynamics of #RSV in current and future #climates (Nat Commun., abstract)

[Source: Nature Communications, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Epidemic dynamics of respiratory syncytial virus in current and future climates

Rachel E. Baker, Ayesha S. Mahmud, Caroline E. Wagner, Wenchang Yang, Virginia E. Pitzer, Cecile Viboud, Gabriel A. Vecchi, C. Jessica E. Metcalf & Bryan T. Grenfell

Nature Communications, volume 10, Article number: 5512 (2019)



A key question for infectious disease dynamics is the impact of the climate on future burden. Here, we evaluate the climate drivers of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an important determinant of disease in young children. We combine a dataset of county-level observations from the US with state-level observations from Mexico, spanning much of the global range of climatological conditions. Using a combination of nonlinear epidemic models with statistical techniques, we find consistent patterns of climate drivers at a continental scale explaining latitudinal differences in the dynamics and timing of local epidemics. Strikingly, estimated effects of precipitation and humidity on transmission mirror prior results for influenza. We couple our model with projections for future climate, to show that temperature-driven increases to humidity may lead to a northward shift in the dynamic patterns observed and that the likelihood of severe outbreaks of RSV hinges on projections for extreme rainfall.

Keywords: RSV; Climate Change; Mathematical models.


The 2019 #report of The Lancet #Countdown on #health and #climatechange: ensuring that the health of a #child born today is not defined by a changing climate (Lancet, summary)

[Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

The 2019 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: ensuring that the health of a child born today is not defined by a changing climate

Nick Watts, MA, Markus Amann, PhD, Prof Nigel Arnell, PhD, Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson, PhD, Kristine Belesova, PhD, Prof Maxwell Boykoff, PhD et al.

Published: November 13, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32596-6



The Lancet Countdown is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration, dedicated to monitoring the evolving health profile of climate change, and providing an independent assessment of the delivery of commitments made by governments worldwide under the Paris Agreement.

Keywords: Global Health; Climate change.


Opening #Pandora’s Box at the roof of the world: #Landscape, #climate and #avian #influenza (#H5N1) (Acta Trop., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Acta Trop. 2019 Aug;196:93-101. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.04.021. Epub 2019 May 4.

Opening Pandora’s Box at the roof of the world: Landscape, climate and avian influenza (H5N1).

Canavan BC1.

Author information: 1 Independent Scholar, Global Health and The Environment, 320 SE 62nd Ave., Portland, Oregon, United States. Electronic address: bcanavan@post.harvard.edu.



The purpose of this case study is to examine how environmental disruption and agricultural practices act synergistically to create a perfect storm for the spread of avian influenza. Actors in this case study include the vast permafrost landscape of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; a wild goose that migrates over the Himalayas; the highest altitude railway in the world that traverses the plateau into Tibet; and an avian virus (H5N1). Commencing in 2001, tens of thousands of railway workers travelled to remote regions of the plateau to work on the railway. In order to feed and shelter these workers, the Chinese government established captive-bred goose farms as a source of high protein food. Beginning in 2005 and continuing in subsequent years, Qinghai Lake was the scene for the unprecedented appearance of avian influenza among migratory geese. This was a key moment in the global spread of H5N1 to poultry on three continents. Remote sensing technology suggested an ecological pathway for the transfer of avian viruses among chickens, captive-bred geese, and wild geese. Within a region experiencing rapid climate change, Qinghai Lake is warming even faster than the global average. This may relate to the persistent outbreaks of avian flu strains from Qinghai during the past twelve years. Globally, exponential increases in bird flu outbreaks are not merely a matter of chance mutations in flu viruses but also a result of antecedent social and environmental factors. The Qinghai case study provides real-world examples that bring these factors into sharp focus.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Agriculture; Avian; Climate; Influenza; Qinghai; Railway

PMID: 31063711 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.04.021 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Keywords: Avian Influenza; H5N1; Panzootic; Climate change; Global warming; China.