The Lancet Countdown tracks progress on health and climate change and provides an independent assessment of the health effects of climate change, the implementation of the Paris Agreement,1 and the health implications of these actions. It follows on from the work of the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change,2 which concluded that anthropogenic climate change threatens to undermine the past 50 years of gains in public health, and conversely, that a comprehensive response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.
Better stewardship of land is needed to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goal of holding warming to below 2 °C; however, confusion persists about the specific set of land stewardship options available and their mitigation potential. To address this, we identify and quantify “natural climate solutions” (NCS): 20 conservation, restoration, and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. We find that the maximum potential of NCS—when constrained by food security, fiber security, and biodiversity conservation—is 23.8 petagrams of CO2 equivalent (PgCO2e) y−1 (95% CI 20.3–37.4). This is ≥30% higher than prior estimates, which did not include the full range of options and safeguards considered here. About half of this maximum (11.3 PgCO2e y−1) represents cost-effective climate mitigation, assuming the social cost of CO2 pollution is ≥100 USD MgCO2e−1 by 2030. Natural climate solutions can provide 37% of cost-effective CO2 mitigation needed through 2030 for a >66% chance of holding warming to below 2 °C. One-third of this cost-effective NCS mitigation can be delivered at or below 10 USD MgCO2−1. Most NCS actions—if effectively implemented—also offer water filtration, flood buffering, soil health, biodiversity habitat, and enhanced climate resilience. Work remains to better constrain uncertainty of NCS mitigation estimates. Nevertheless, existing knowledge reported here provides a robust basis for immediate global action to improve ecosystem stewardship as a major solution to climate change.
To discuss the drivers of planetary health, responses, and the role of nursing in making health systems more resilient in an era of increasing stresses. As health providers, scientists, educators, and leaders, nurses have an obligation to prepare for climate change and other impacts of ecosystem strain on human health.
Design and Methods
Review of literature relevant to a planetary health framework.
Population displacement, new disease patterns and health needs, stresses on air quality, food production and water systems, and equity concerns, as well as the generation of sustainable energy, are all intimately related to health.
Nurses are key to achieving the sustainable development goals that, like the planetary health framework, focus on environmental sustainability and human well-being. Nurses contribute to resilient health systems, as trusted leaders and providers of health care, and as advocates and change makers impacting the world.
It is critical that nurses and other health professionals consider the multiple effects of ecosystem strain on human health, and anticipate population health and health system planning and response.
Illness caused by pathogenic strains of Vibrio bacteria incurs significant economic and health care costs in many areas around the world. In the Chesapeake Bay, the two most problematic species are V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus, which cause infection both from exposure to contaminated water and consumption of contaminated seafood. We used existing Vibrio habitat models, four global climate models, and a recently developed statistical downscaling framework to project the spatiotemporal probability of occurrence of V. vulnificus and V. cholerae in the estuarine environment, and the mean concentration of V. parahaemolyticus in oysters in the Chesapeake Bay by the end of the 21st century. Results showed substantial future increases in season length and spatial habitat for V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus, while projected increase in V. cholerae habitat was less marked and more spatially heterogeneous. Our findings underscore the need for spatially variable inputs into models of climate impacts on Vibrios in estuarine environments. Overall, economic costs associated with Vibrios in the Chesapeake Bay, such as incidence of illness and management measures on the shellfish industry, may increase under climate change, with implications for recreational and commercial uses of the ecosystem.
This study aims to evaluate the impacts of climate change and technical progress on the wheat yield per unit area from 1970 to 2014 in Henan, the largest agricultural province in China, using an autoregressive distributed lag approach. The bounded F-test for cointegration among the model variables yielded evidence of a long-run relationship among climate change, technical progress, and the wheat yield per unit area. In the long run, agricultural machinery and fertilizer use both had significantly positive impacts on the per unit area wheat yield. A 1% increase in the aggregate quantity of fertilizer use increased the wheat yield by 0.19%. Additionally, a 1% increase in machine use increased the wheat yield by 0.21%. In contrast, precipitation during the wheat growth period (from emergence to maturity, consisting of the period from last October to June) led to a decrease in the wheat yield per unit area. In the short run, the coefficient of the aggregate quantity of fertilizer used was negative. Land size had a significantly positive impact on the per unit area wheat yield in the short run. There was no significant short-run or long-run impact of temperature on the wheat yield per unit area in Henan Province. The results of our analysis suggest that climate change had a weak impact on the wheat yield, while technical progress played an important role in increasing the wheat yield per unit area. The results of this study have implications for national and local agriculture policies under climate change. To design well-targeted agriculture adaptation policies for the future and to reduce the adverse effects of climate change on the wheat yield, climate change and technical progress factors should be considered simultaneously. In addition, adaptive measures associated with technical progress should be given more attention.
The potential link between climate change, migration, and conflict has been widely discussed and is increasingly viewed by policy makers as a security issue. However, considerable uncertainty remains regarding the role that climate variability and change play among the many drivers of migration and conflict. The overall objective of this paper is to explore the potential pathways linking climate change, migration and increased risk of conflict. We review the existing literature surrounding this issue and break the problem into two components: the links between climate change and migration, and those between migration and conflict. We found a large range of views regarding the importance of climate change as a driver for increasing rates of migration and subsequently of conflict. We argue that future research should focus not only on the climate-migration-conflict pathway but also work to understand the other pathways by which climate variability and change might exacerbate conflict. We conclude by proposing five questions to help guide future research on the link between climate change, migration, and conflict.