Planetary health: a call for papers

August 11, 2014 • Daily Email Recap

Planetary health: a call for papers 

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61289-7/fulltext

We live in the Anthropocene era when humanity’s impact on both biological and geophysical systems is becoming increasingly dominant. Environmental trends, including large-scale changes to climate, water, and natural habitats, pose important challenges to sustaining the biosphere in a state conducive to the advancement of health and flourishing of humanity. Those challenges also threaten the very viability of human civilisation.1
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has assessed the risks to health from climate change, but much less has been written on the health effects of the other environmental changes or on the implications for health from interactions between different types of environmental stress. Biodiversity loss, freshwater withdrawals, cropland and pasture conversion, coastal buffer degradation, and ocean acidification have major implications for human health through effects on a range of health outcomes that include: water-related and vector-borne diseases; impacts of increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as floods, droughts, and heatwaves; and food security and undernutrition. Beyond these direct and ecologically mediated impacts, cultural and aesthetic deprivation, livelihood losses, population displacement, conflict, poverty, and ultimately collapse of our civilisation are of added concern. There is evidence, for example, that increased thermal stress will substantially reduce labour productivity in tropical and subtropical regions and earnings of subsistence farmers because of declining crop yields, thus increasing poverty.2 However, the nature and extent of many of these indirect pathways have yet to be successfully quantified.

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61289-7/fulltext


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