Ozone Depletion

Conclusions

Human-induced changes in the global climate system and in stratospheric ozone pose a range of health risks. Irrespective of actions that might soon be taken to reduce or halt these environmental changes, human populations will be exposed to some degree of climate change and increased ultraviolet irradiation over the coming decades. Climate change is likely to have wide-ranging and potentially serious health consequences, including various risks to the health of European populations. Some health...

The immune system

There is good evidence both in humans and experimental animals that ultraviolet radiation causes local (that is, occurring only at the site of irradiation) and systemic immunosuppression. Although the mechanisms of ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression are better understood, many questions remain to be answered. The consequences of immunosuppression for patterns of infectious disease in human populations are less clear. Cellular immunity and the activity of natural killer cells have...

Impact of climate change on water resources

Water is one of the main integrating factors for many environmental and economic systems in Europe. Under current climatic conditions, many areas have problems with water supply. Climate change is likely to enhance water-related stresses in these areas (8). Table 1. Assessment of European population at risk of a rise in sea level9 People affected People at risk'' Capital value loss sea level No-Percent- No' f Percent- Millions aqeof (metres) people ageQf people ageQf sands) total lands) total...

Executive summary

Human effects on the environment now include unprecedented changes at the global level in the atmosphere and the stratosphere. Climatologists project that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere will change the world's climate, and this has apparently already begun. Stratospheric ozone has been depleted in recent decades. The relationship between the two phenomena is complex, and new knowledge is emerging. Authoritative international reviews have concluded that these global...

Extreme weather

Climate change is likely to substantially affect human health by changing the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events (88). Climate change projections are based on the anticipation of increasing means or norms. Global or regional climate models are not well able to forecast future climate variability, whether daily, interannual or interdecadal. Changes in extreme events are forecast by estimating changes in probability distributions. The effects of natural disasters are increasing,...

Vectorborne diseases

Malaria Uzbekistan

Several important diseases are transmitted by vectors such as mosquitos, ticks or rodents. These vector organisms are sensitive to climatic conditions, especially temperature and humidity. Thus, the distribution of vector-borne diseases is restricted by the climatic tolerance limits of their vectors. Further, biological restrictions that limit the survival of the infective agent in the vector population also determine the absolute limits for disease transmission. Climate plays a role in...

Waterrelated diseases

Water-related diseases can be divided into four categories (105). Faecal-oral diseases can spread via water or food contaminated with faecal material. They include diseases transmitted by direct ingestion of the pathogen and those spread because of a lack of water for personal hygiene. Examples include cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and diarrhoeal diseases. Certain diseases that spread from one person to another can be exacerbated by lack of water for personal hygiene. These include infections...

Skin cancer

Many epidemiological studies have implicated solar radiation as a cause of skin cancer (both melanotic and non-melanotic) in fair-skinned humans (146,147). Non-melanotic skin cancers are of two major histological types basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The risk of these cancers has generally been thought to correlate with cumulative lifetime exposure to solar radiation. Nevertheless, recent evidence suggests that the relationship is more complex. At least for basal cell...

On human health

The detection and attribution of the early effects of climate change on the health of human populations is a priority. A range of anticipated health effects from climate change and depletion of stratospheric ozone have been described. Some of the direct-acting effects are likely to become evident within the coming decades. For example, an increase in heat wave-related deaths and an increase in ultraviolet radiation-induced skin cancer in some populations may occur soon or are already occurring....

Synopsis of the issue

Human environmental impacts now include unprecedented changes at global level in the atmosphere and the stratosphere. Cli-matologists project that greenhouse gas accumulation in the lower atmosphere will change the world's climate and has apparently already begun to do so. Depletion of stratospheric ozone has occurred in recent decades. The relationship between the two phenomena is complex and new knowledge is emerging. Authoritative international reviews have concluded that these global...

Stratospheric ozone depletion

Stratospheric ozone is thought to have begun forming several billion years ago as a result of the solar-powered destruction and recombination of oxygen. The natural concentration of stratospheric ozone is now maintained through the dynamic equilibrium existing between the production and destruction of ozone. The destruction is catalysed by trace amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen and halogen free radicals (especially chlorine and bromine). These free radicals occur naturally but, in recent decades,...

Climate change in Europe

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (between about 1750 and 1800), emissions of greenhouse gases have been rising as a result of increased industrial and agricultural production and greater use of fossil fuel for domestic heating. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, has increased by 30 since pre-industrial times (3). Ice-core studies indicate that the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is now higher than at any other time in the past 160...

The effects of floods on health

The effects of floods on human health may be divided into direct effects or indirect contributory effects as a result of being flooded. Direct effects on health are those caused by the floodwaters. Indirect effects are those caused by other systems damaged by floods. The primary cause of death due to floods is drowning. It can also be caused by various combinations of trauma and hypothermia with or without submersion. The proportion of those surviving floods who require emergency medical care...

Initiatives on climate change and human health

Growing awareness of climate change has stimulated several assessments of its likely effects on human population health. In particular, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has comprehensively reviewed the scientific literature on this topic in its Second Assessment Report (6,7) and the Third Assessment Report due out in 2001. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regional assessment also addressed the health effects for Europe (8). A task group convened by WHO, the World...

Mitigation to reduce or prevent climate change

Mitigation refers to actions that are taken to reduce the emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Mitigation can be achieved in several ways. National and international policies (including those of the European Union) centre around reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Few policy measures address strategies to reduce the actual or projected effects of climate change. Scientific evidence linking greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities with the risk of global climate...

Introduction

Depletion Ozone Air Introductions

The aggregate environmental impact of humanity has begun to change some of the earth's great biophysical systems. Such human-induced systemic environmental change is unprecedented. In particular, humans are altering the composition of the atmosphere. Changes in the lower atmosphere will cause long-term global climate change. Changes in the stratosphere increase the amount of harmful ultraviolet irradiation at the earth's surface. The global environmental changes now taking place have common...

Effects on food supply

During the past 10 000 years - which have been relatively stable in climatic terms - farming methods have evolved and improved, enabling more food to be produced. Local climatic limitations on crop growth have been overcome through irrigation, fertilization, mechanization and the breeding of varieties adapted to local conditions. During the past five decades, the food requirements of a rapidly expanding population, combined with a worldwide shortage of new tracts of arable land, have led to an...

Aeroallergens

The production of many aeroallergens in the air, especially pollen, depends on the season of the year. The start of the grass pollen season in the United Kingdom can differ by about 32 days according to the weather in the spring and early summer. However, trends in pollen abundance are more strongly linked to land-use change and farming practices than to climate (85). Hay fever consultations have been shown to coincide with the onset and duration of the pollen season. Climate change is likely...

Decreased mortality as a result of milder winters

In cold and temperate locations, the daily number of deaths increases as the daily wintertime temperature decreases (71,72). However, this rate of increase appears to be considerably less steep than the relationship between mortality and increasing temperature in the summer. Thus, countries in northern Europe have a clear seasonal variation in mortality, with death rates during the winter 10-25 higher than those in the summer (73). A study in Germany suggests that the increased use of central...

Secondary health benefits of mitigation policies

The ongoing negotiations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases present an important opportunity to improve population health. Many mitigation policies and technologies in Europe and beyond can have substantial near-term health benefits. Such win-win policies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide other social or environmental benefits. For example, restricting the circulation of private motor vehicles in urban areas would decrease the burden of mortality and morbidity from road...

Early human health effects of climate change and

STRATOSPHERIC OZONE DEPLETION IN EUROPE Executive summary Human-induced changes in the global climate system and in stratospheric ozone pose a range of health risks. Irrespective of any actions that might soon be taken to reduce or halt these environmental changes, human populations will be exposed to some degree of climate change and increased ultraviolet irradiation over the coming decades. There is therefore a need to consider how these global change processes will affect the health of...

Research and policy

Collaboration across research disciplines is fundamental to global change research. Barriers to global change research have been identified in Canada and include lack of national strategic research plans lack of communication between disciplines single-discipline funding agencies that do not fund interdisciplinary research and lack of public concern (11). Research on the health effects of global environmental change requires a network of scientists within Europe and should be conducted within...

Tickborne diseases

Ticks transmit several bacterial, rickettsial and viral pathogens to humans (Fig. 10). Ticks are ectoparasites, and their geographical distribution depends on the availability of suitable habitat vegetation and host species, usually rodents and large mammals such as deer. The distribution and population density of ticks is also limited Fig. 10. Interactions between tick-borne disease and the environment by climatic factors. Tick vectors are long-lived and are active in the spring, summer and...

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in two forms, both of which are present in Europe (123). Both the visceral and the cutaneous form are caused by Leishmania donovani infantum. Cutaneous leishmaniasis cases have been reported from France, Italy, Spain and countries in central Asia. Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (also known as kala-azar) is endemic in all countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It has become an important co-infection with HIV in France, Italy and Spain (124). Leishmaniasis is transmitted...

Thermal stress

Global climate change will be accompanied by an increase in the frequency of heat waves as well as warmer summers and milder winters. Even with no change in climate variability, an increase in mean temperatures would increase the number of summer heat waves (as currently defined) and reduce the number of cold spells in winter, for any given location. It has been projected that the equivalent of the extremely hot summer of 1976 in the United Kingdom, very unlikely in today's global climate...

Climate in Europe

Climate is determined by latitude or altitude and by a country's proximity to the ocean or an inland sea. In Europe, the annual temperature variation ranges from some 10 C in coastal regions of Ireland and the United Kingdom to about 30 C in Finland and the Russian Federation. Annual precipitation totals range from as low as 200 mm per year in Greece and southern Spain to over 2000 mm in coastal regions of Norway and at some locations in the Alps (8). Although much of Europe lies in the...