#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.


A quantitative #comparison of #WNV #incidence from 2013 to 2018 in Emilia-Romagna, #Italy (PLOS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


A quantitative comparison of West Nile virus incidence from 2013 to 2018 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Giovanni Marini , Mattia Calzolari, Paola Angelini, Romeo Bellini, Silvia Bellini, Luca Bolzoni, Deborah Torri, Francesco Defilippo, Ilaria Dorigatti, Birgit Nikolay, Andrea Pugliese, Roberto Rosà, Marco Tamba


Published: January 2, 2020 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007953




West Nile virus (WNV) transmission was much greater in 2018 than in previous seasons in Europe. Focusing on Emilia-Romagna region (northern Italy), we analyzed detailed entomological and epidemiological data collected in 2013–2018 to quantitatively assess environmental drivers of transmission and explore hypotheses to better understand why the 2018 epidemiological season was substantially different than the previous seasons. In particular, in 2018 WNV was detected at least two weeks before the observed circulation in 2013–2017 and in a larger number of mosquito pools. Transmission resulted in 100 neuroinvasive human cases in the region, more than the total number of cases recorded between 2013 and 2017.


We used temperature-driven mathematical models calibrated through a Bayesian approach to simulate mosquito population dynamics and WNV infection rates in the avian population. We then estimated the human transmission risk as the probability, for a person living in the study area, of being bitten by an infectious mosquito in a given week. Finally, we translated such risk into reported WNV human infections.

Principal findings

The estimated prevalence of WNV in the mosquito and avian populations were significantly higher in 2018 with respect to 2013–2017 seasons, especially in the eastern part of the region. Furthermore, peak avian prevalence was estimated to have occurred earlier, corresponding to a steeper decline towards the end of summer. The high mosquito prevalence resulted in a much greater predicted risk for human transmission in 2018, which was estimated to be up to eight times higher than previous seasons. We hypothesized, on the basis of our modelling results, that such greater WNV circulation might be partially explained by exceptionally high spring temperatures, which have likely helped to amplify WNV transmission at the beginning of the 2018 season.


Author summary

West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most recent emerging mosquito-borne diseases in Europe and North America. While most human infections are asymptomatic, about 1% of them can result in severe neurological diseases which might be fatal. WNV transmission was unusually greater in 2018 than in previous years in many European countries, resulting in a large number of human infections. Focusing on Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), we developed an epidemiological model informed by entomological data; through that we found that exceptionally high spring temperatures might have contributed at amplifying WNV transmission at the beginning of the season, causing greater WNV prevalence in mosquito and avian populations during the summer, which resulted in a higher estimated risk for human transmission. Thus, weather anomalies at the beginning of the mosquito breeding season, which are likely to become more common under the projected scenarios of climate change, might act as an early warning signal for public health authorities, enabling them to design efficient surveillance and prevention strategies.


Citation: Marini G, Calzolari M, Angelini P, Bellini R, Bellini S, Bolzoni L, et al. (2020) A quantitative comparison of West Nile virus incidence from 2013 to 2018 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 14(1): e0007953. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007953

Editor: Waleed Saleh Al-Salem, Saudi Ministry of Health, SAUDI ARABIA

Received: July 10, 2019; Accepted: November 20, 2019; Published: January 2, 2020

Copyright: © 2020 Marini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: Data used in this study was collected in the frame of “Regional Surveillance of Arboviral Diseases” financed by the Emilia-Romagna Region. I.D. acknowledges research funding from the Imperial College Junior Research Fellowship and joint Centre funding from the UK Medical Research Council and Department for International Development. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: WNV; Wild Birds; Mosquitoes; Global Warming; Italy.


#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.


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.