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Hydrometeorological Extreme Events and Public Health

Hydrometeorological Extreme Events and Public Health

Franziska Matthies

ISBN: 978-1-119-25934-3

Feb 2020, Wiley-Blackwell

320 pages


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The book explains the link between projected changes in frequency, severity and geographical occurrence of hydrometeorological extreme events and climate change, describe related health effects and outline new developments in adaptation and mitigation options. It illustrates technical facts,  with examples of international and national approaches and scientific projects and includes issues around multi-sectoral collaboration, stakeholder involvement and costs.

To bring together various hydrometeorological extreme events and health in one volume, attention is given to general disaster risk management and the all hazards approach.

According to WHO, floods affected 3.4 million people and killed more than 1000 between 2000 and 2011 in the European Region alone (WHO Regional Office for Europe, website). Floods are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change, with respective effects for human health and health systems.

Reduction in precipitation and increased risk of droughts is projected for several regions in the world in relation to climate change. In Europe for example, the Mediterranean countries are likely to face more frequent and severe droughts. Literature on health effects and prevention and adaptation measures is still scarce. Drought related health risks are direct and indirect and risk management needs to involve several sectors.

Invited authors cover a wide range of disciplines (e.g. public health specialists, medical doctors, health economists, and climatologists) and have expertise in climate change, extreme weather events and health with regard to health effects as well as to prevention and response measures.

The book is divided in three parts with a range of chapters each. The first part outlines the links between climate change, trends in hydrometeorological extreme events and the effects on human health. It starts off with an overview over recent knowledge on climate change and health and introduces relevant issues around hydrometeorological extreme events.

The second part deals with specific observed and projected health effects of hydrometeorological extreme events, namely heavy precipitation events, floods and droughts. It introduces the concepts of risk and vulnerability and the principles of health impact assessment.

The third part is dedicated to disaster risk management, the multi-hazard approach and specific measures for flood and drought preparedness and response, respectively. It also looks at future needs for adaptation and mitigation measures and the … resilience.  It highlights the role of cross-sectoral collaboration and the of co-benefits for health of measures in other sectors.

The global perspective and the multi-sectoral approach appeals to a broad audience ranging from students and scientists to practitioners and members of the international policy community.