Special Issue "Human Health Implications of Droughts"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Raquel Nieto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Physics, Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), University of Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: climate diagnosis; health; droughts; extreme precipitation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Linares
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National School of Public Health, Carlos III National Institute of Health (Instituto Salud Carlos III/ISCIII), Madrid, Spain
Interests: climate change; health; air pollution; heat waves; noise;
Dr. Julio Diaz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National School of Public Health, Carlos III National Institute of Health (Instituto Salud Carlos III/ISCIII), 28029 Madrid, Spain
Interests: air pollution; noise and health; climate change; cold and heat waves;
Dr. Coral Salvador
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), University of Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: human health; epidemiology; droughts; extreme meteorological events

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Droughts are widely considered as the costliest, most complex, destructive, and least understood climatic event, affecting more people than any other climatic hazard. Many studies have focused on the effects of drought on meteorological, agricultural, or hydrological contexts, but assessments of the effects on health are lacking. Climate change projections indicate an increase in the intensity and frequency of droughts in several regions around the world in the 21st century; thus, a more detailed understanding of the relationship between drought exposure and human health is crucial to minimize the risks and vulnerability.

Several aspects need to be explored deeper, for instance, finding the best index(es) for detecting and estimating the different health risks associated with the incidence of droughts and better understanding the aspects linked to vulnerability of these extreme events. In this context, this Special Issue aims to respond to the existing gaps. We expect stimulate a broader discussion of this topic in the scientific community.

We will consider research papers related to the following research lines using different spatial scales or methodological approaches:

- Effects of drought events on human health in the present and future climate

 - Comparison of different drought indices to identify and quantify the impacts of drought on health systems

 - Improve knowledge of the mechanisms of vulnerability involved between droughts and health

 - Elaboration of an enhanced monitoring system by health systems to diminish the effects of droughts.

 

Dr. Luis Gimeno
Dr. Raquel Nieto
Dr. Cristina Linares
Dr. Julio Diaz
Dr. Coral Salvador
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • health and climate
  • droughts
  • hydrological cycle
  • epidemiology
  • air pollution
  • heatwaves

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Modelling the Relationship between Rainfall and Mental Health Using Different Spatial and Temporal Units
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1312; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031312 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Drought is thought to impact upon the mental health of agricultural communities, but studies of this relationship have reported inconsistent results. A source of inconsistency could be the aggregation of data by a single spatiotemporal unit of analysis, which induces the modifiable areal [...] Read more.
Drought is thought to impact upon the mental health of agricultural communities, but studies of this relationship have reported inconsistent results. A source of inconsistency could be the aggregation of data by a single spatiotemporal unit of analysis, which induces the modifiable areal and temporal unit problems. To investigate this, mental health-related emergency department (MHED) presentations among residents of the Wheat Belt region of Western Australia, between 2002 and 2017, were examined. Average daily rainfall was used as a measure of drought. Associations between MHED presentations and rainfall were estimated based on various spatial aggregations of underlying data, at multiple temporal windows. Wide variation amongst results was observed. Despite this, two key features were found: Associations between MHED presentations and rainfall were generally positive when rainfall was measured in summer months (rate ratios up to 1.05 per 0.5 mm of daily rainfall) and generally negative when rainfall was measured in winter months (rate ratios as low as 0.96 per 0.5 mm of daily rainfall). These results demonstrate that the association between drought and mental health is quantifiable; however, the effect size is small and varies depending on the spatial and temporal arrangement of the underlying data. To improve understanding of this association, more studies should be undertaken with longer time spans and examining specific mental health outcomes, using a wide variety of spatiotemporal units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health Implications of Droughts)
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Article
Quantification of the Effects of Droughts on Daily Mortality in Spain at Different Timescales at Regional and National Levels: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17176114 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
A performance assessment of two different indices (the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)) for monitoring short-term and short–medium-term drought impacts on daily specific-cause mortality in Spain was conducted. To achieve a comprehensive, nationwide view, a meta-analysis was [...] Read more.
A performance assessment of two different indices (the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)) for monitoring short-term and short–medium-term drought impacts on daily specific-cause mortality in Spain was conducted. To achieve a comprehensive, nationwide view, a meta-analysis was performed using a combination of provincial relative risks (RRs). Moreover, the subdivisions of Spain based on administrative, climatic, and demographic criteria to obtain the measures of combined risks were also taken into account. The results of the SPEI and SPI calculated at the same timescale were similar. Both showed that longer drought events produced greater RR values, for respiratory mortality. However, at the local administrative level, Galicia, Castilla-y-Leon, and Extremadura showed the greatest risk of daily mortality associated with drought episodes, with Andalucía, País Vasco, and other communities being notably impacted. Based on climatic regionalization, Northwest, Central, and Southern Spain were the regions most affected by different drought conditions for all analyzed causes of daily mortality, while the Mediterranean coastal region was less affected. Demographically, the regions with the highest proportion of people aged 65 years of age and over reflected the greatest risk of daily natural, circulatory, and respiratory mortality associated with drought episodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health Implications of Droughts)
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