'Welcome to Climate Change' -- MIT Tech Review

The May/June issue of the MIT Technology Review examines how the world is already suffering under and responding to climate change. Featured in its special issue on climate change is Australia’s adaptation response to ‘a future with bigger, badder bushfires’; how sea-level rise threatens to deluge villages and cities in India, poisoning the water tables; how climate change now makes it even harder to find water on the edge of the Sahara; and threats to the world’s breadbasket. Subscriber link

Threatened Biodiversity Poses Health Risks for Billions

The May report of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services warns that unless action is taken on the drivers of biodiversity loss -- including climate change -- more than a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, many within decades. This threatens not only the health of the planet but also the health of billions of people heavily reliant on biodiversity for medicines, food, clean air and water -- with the word’s poorest communities most at risk. The report also cites a synthesis of studies estimating that the fraction of species at risk of climate-related extinction is 5 per cent at 2°C warming, rising to 16 per cent at 4.3°C warming. Read more...

Register for May 31 CAR Symposium

The Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research (CAR) Symposium on 31 May will focus on how urban and transport planning in our cities has the potential to affect air quality and health. A panel session with War on Waste host Craig Reucassel will examine the research needed to inform planning policy decisions that support health through better air quality and energy use. The plenary session will feature two leading transport and built-environment academics: Professor Mark Stevens (Uni. Melb) and Professor Chris Pettit (UNSW). See program for more details. To register, click here.

Doctors Call for Action on Climate Change

With the election looming, Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) is urging its members to participate in a clarion call for action on climate change. DEA has issued a poster, “Doctors Call for Strong Climate Action”, for members to display in their workplaces. The organisation says bold action on air pollution, drought, extreme weather and bushfires is needed to promote health and livelihoods. Its website features fact sheets on everything from the health effects of heatwaves, to information on divestment resources; links to health-climate conferences; and videos advising subscribers what they can do to help the environment.

NEW PHD Scholarship on offer -Epidemiology of Chronic Kidney Disease

A PhD scholarship is offered for Australian residents or citizens with an annual tax free stipend of $35,000 for the 12 months from September/October 2018-19; with the potential of further funding up to 3 years. The PhD will involve at least a year in detailed field work in Sri Lanka, to assess the relationship of numerous hypotheses concerning chemical and biological exposures to the  occurrence of CKDu, especially at small area, village and household level; also involving integration with data already collected at larger levels of aggregation, and the published literature.


see https://applynow.net.au/jobs/GEORGE12-phd-scholarship-epidemiology-of-chronic-kidney-disease for more info - closing date 30 August 2018

PhD Opportunity: Heatwaves & Health

Heatwaves have severe and adverse impacts on the health of Australians. While Australia is no stranger to heatwaves, increasing trends in their intensity, frequency and duration have been observed, with specific events having notable human health impacts. For example, in 2009 over 370 people were killed in the heatwave that preceded the Black Saturday fires, and a 2014 heatwave over Melbourne saw hospital admissions relating to cardiac diseases increase seven-fold.

The field of detection and attribution has seen rapid growth in recent years, where the influence of anthropogenic climate change on the frequency and/or intensity of a specific extreme event is quantified. Recently, the field has seen a shift towards quantifying how anthropogenic climate change has altered the impacts of a specific extreme event.

This research project will examine the influence of anthropogenic climate change on health impacts of Australians. It will involve defining and becoming familiar with several high-impact heatwaves in the observed climatological record, and determining who is most vulnerable and from which diseases. Such analysis is likely to demonstrate regional and temporal variation and will require the analysis of climate (e.g. observations and projections from climate models) and human health (e.g. hospital admissions) data. Once the health impacts of significant heatwaves have been isolated, cutting-edge methods in detection and attribution will be employed to determine the role of anthropogenic climate change in them.

The project will be based at the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW Australia. It will be jointly supervised by Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick and A/Prof Donna Green. The successful candidate will become affiliated with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, an international research consortium of five Australian universities (The University of New South Wales, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Tasmania and The Australian National University) and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organisations. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development.

We are looking for outstanding graduates with a strong academic record including an Honours Class I or equivalent. Graduates with a background in climate or atmospheric science, or similar quantitative sciences are welcome, as well as those from epidemiological sciences. While having experience in both fields is desirable, it is not essential.  The PhD program will provide an opportunity for the student to develop their skills in either field. If coming from a climate background, programming experience with Matlab, Python, R or a similar language is desirable.

Inquiries may be directed to Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick ( sarah.kirkpatrick@unsw.edu.au ).
A CV, full academic transcript and the names of up to three academic referees should be sent to arccss.grad@unsw.edu.au.
A $5,000 p/a top-up is provided by the Climate Change Research Centre in addition to the stipend.
Closing date: Monday, 20 June, 2018

ERL 2017 Highlights: Herold et al.

Congratulations to Nick Herold, Lisa Alexander, Donna Green and Markus Donat, whose paper Greater increases in temperature extremes in low versus high income countries was featured in the 2017 Research Highlights for Environmental Research Letters!

The global problem of climate change poses the greatest threat to the poorest countries, despite their least contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. This study shows that these lowest income countries are already (since a decade) experiencing greater increases in the occurrence of temperature extremes compared to the highest income countries. 

You can also find the paper, which is Open Access, on our Resources page.

Healthy Hospitals: Healthy People Forum 21 and 22 May, 2018 - registrations now open

What can we do to transition to an environmentally sustainable and resilient healthcare system?

This forum will look at what big picture changes are needed within our healthcare system to address climate change and environmental sustainability, as well as what can be done in individual hospitals and health services to reduce healthcare’s environmental impacts.

Day 1 will concentrate on environmental sustainability in building design solutions. Day 2 will bring in the policy, current research and case study presentations, opportunities for collaboration, networking and information exchanges with likeminded colleagues.

Dr David Pencheon OBE, founder Director of the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) for the NHS in the UK, will deliver a keynote to kick off the forum on Day 2.

Download the event flyer here.

The Climate and Health Alliance is pleased to be presenting this Forum in partnership with the Institute of Healthcare Engineering Australia and Western Health.

Forum details

What: Healthy Hospitals: Healthy People Forum
Where: Western Centre for Health Research and Education, 176 Furlong Road, St Albans, Victoria, 3021
When: Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May, 2018
Cost: $50 per day

Click here to register.