Half a degree Additional warming: Prognosis and Projected Impacts on Health (HAPPI-Health)

Lead Research Organisation: London Sch of Hygiene and Trop Medicine
Department Name: Public Health and Policy

Abstract

The most recent Lancet Commissions on climate change and health concluded that "Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century". Here, we specifically consider the thermal-health component of the future climate-health burden in an attempt to estimate, for the first time, the number of temperature related deaths under future climate change in developing regions of the world. This number is surprisingly hard to calculate even with large error bars. Aside from the uncertainties in climate projections, the relationship between heat stress and human health varies significantly between countries, and even between cities within the same country. Estimates have been made on a regional scale in some developed countries. For instance, in the UK, a ~250% increase in heat related mortality by the year 2050 was estimated from an annual baseline of ~2000 current deaths (Hajat et al, 2014). This proposal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of extreme temperatures and associated temperature-related mortality in all regions of the globe, including previously avoided regions such as developing nations, by characterising the uncertainties in different methods of climate change projections, mechanisms driving the extremes, and their relationship to the temperature-health burden at the city level.

Specifically, for future climate we consider Paris Agreement climate scenarios. The Paris Agreement aims to limit globally averaged temperatures to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, and pursue ambitions to limit it to 1.5C. But this aim is currently supported by rather thin scientific evidence (James et al, 2016), in particular with respect to relative risks of high-impact extreme weather events. Sea level rise aside, the impacts of a global warming of 1.5C, and the impacts avoided by stabilising temperatures at 1.5 instead of 2C, will be dominated, in most regions of the world, by changing risks of extreme weather events, hence the relevance of our proposed research. Fischer & Knutti (2015) estimate that, on a global average, the occurrence of heat extremes doubles between 1.5 & 2C warming. For individual regions, large-scale averages do not provide an adequate basis for decisions on risk prevention and resilience. Changes in atmospheric dynamics and factors other than greenhouse gases also affect heat and rainfall extremes, and, locally, may yield changes in risk that are either greater than or even opposed to the global average (Schaller et al, 2016).

The Paris Agreement calls for research into the impacts of a given level of warming, not the impacts of a scenario that is expected, at some probability, to yield a given level of warming. This requires a new approach to estimate future climate which is complementary to the scenario-driven experiments that provide the core of CMIP5 and CMIP6. To address this, we employ the newly developed Half a degree Additional warming; Prognosis and Projected Impacts (HAPPI; Mitchell et al, 2016a) scenario set - a set of targeted experiments specifically designed to address questions related to the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5C and 2C global averaged warming anomalies.

The Paris Agreement is a major step forward for the international climate community, and will play a large role in the next IPCC report (AR6) and well beyond. This proposal brings together experts in climate (Mitchell and Allen) and health (Gasparrini), to provide a comprehensive analysis of one the key impacts of climate change, temperature related mortality. It provides an assessment of what drives extreme temperatures, where the climate change signals are largest, and how these impact on the regional- and city-level health burden around the world.

Planned Impact

Policy makers
One of the most important impacts of climate change is the possibility of enhanced extreme weather events. Many aspects of political decision making involve interpreting the scientific evidence presented, this spans the national levels, to the city governance. For instance makes decisions on city preparedness during heat waves. As such, reliable estimates of projected climate are required in order to accurately inform these decisions. Research from this project will directly contribute to the reliability of projected extreme weather risk under 1.5C and 2C scenarios and therefore aid in policy discussions, especially at the city level, where temperature-mortality impacts become more important. Note that it is imperative for our research on 1.5 v. 2C commences immediately to ensure that papers are submitted in time for the IPCC AR6 report, for which the publication deadline is likely to be October 2020. Work beyond that scope will also be highly relevant for other major reports, for instance the Lancet Commission on Climate Change, as well as annual statements made by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Though these reports, and though annual reports from our project partners, the Met Office and Public Health England, our science has the potential to influence policy at a range of levels.

The public
Extreme events are currently at the forefront of public concern according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), while coverage of potential links to climate change and the impacts have increased in the recent years. Examples include the recent long lived Californian drought, widespread flooding in the southern UK, and bleaching of coral off the coast of Australia, all prompting huge media coverage. By increasing our understanding of the link between heat and mortality, and how this might change in the future, this project will clearly be attractive to media outlets and more generally the public community. For instance, a precursor paper to this project (Mitchell et al, 2016, Environmental Research Letters), approaching this question from a climate-attribution point of view, experienced high-levels of coverage both in academic journals (e.g. Brown, 2016, Nature Climate Change), and in the media (e.g. The Guardian, the Daily Mail, Carbon Brief). We will maximise this through inviting new, and previously established contacts from the media, academia and policy circles to an end of project summary meeting, where the project results will be presented and more widely disseminated, including discussions on implications for the different sectors.

Publications

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Analitis A (2018) Synergistic Effects of Ambient Temperature and Air Pollution on Health in Europe: Results from the PHASE Project. in International journal of environmental research and public health

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Gasparrini A (2019) Temperature-related mortality and climate change in Australia - Authors' reply. in The Lancet. Planetary health

 
Description Modern methods for time series analysis
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Temperature, climate change and health
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Use of DLNMs in temperature-health studies
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/collections/public/10kxh85C77hGm5PFkch6qfQ/
 
Title Personal website 
Description The website provides access to the outputs of my research, such as pdf versions and supplemental material of the published papers, summaries and updates of my research activity, and other information. In particular, scripts and data for reproducing the results of methodological or substantive papers are made available thorough the website. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The website is visited by 5-10 visitors each day. They download materials such as articles, scripts and data. 
URL http://www.ag-myresearch.com/
 
Title R package mvmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running extended meta-analytical models. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of extended meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mixmeta/index.html
 
Title R package mvmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running univariate or multivariate meta-analysis and meta-regression. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2011 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of multivariate meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mvmeta/index.html
 
Title Personal website 
Description The website provides access to the outputs of my research, such as pdf versions and supplemental material of the published papers, summaries and updates of my research activity, and other information. In particular, scripts and data for reproducing the results of methodological or substantive papers are made available thorough the website. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The website is visited by 5-10 visitors each day. They download materials such as articles, scripts and data. 
URL http://www.ag-myresearch.com/
 
Title R package mixmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running extended meta-analytical models. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of extended meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. Impact on application of meta-analytical approaches, certified by the use of the technique in several peer-reviewed articles by different research groups: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/collections/public/10kxh85C77hGm5PFkch6qfQ/ 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mixmeta/index.html
 
Title R package mvmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running univariate or multivariate meta-analysis and meta-regression. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2011 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of multivariate meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. Impact on application of meta-analytical approaches, certified by the use of the technique in several peer-reviewed articles by different research groups: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/collections/public/10kxh85C77hGm5PFkch6qfQ/ 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mvmeta/index.html
 
Description Methodological work on distributed lag linear and non-linear models 
Organisation London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Collaborator Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2014
 
Description Methodological work on distributed lag linear and non-linear models 
Organisation Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)
Department Department of Neurology
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Collaborator Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2014
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Department Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness
Country United States 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation Columbia University
Department Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation Public Health Agency of Canada
Department Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation University of Hasselt
Department Centre for Environmental Sciences
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation University of Leuven
Department Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Modelling health effects of environmental exposures 
Organisation University of Ottawa
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Technical contribution on statistical methods and software programs, intellectual contribution to publications
Collaborator Contribution Leading the development of the methodological research, leading on writing up of peer-review publications
Impact Peer-reviewed publications in international journals and oral presentations in international congresses
Start Year 2012
 
Description Multi-Country Multi-City (MCC) Collaborative Research Network 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have established and currently coordinating an international collaboration of more than 80 researchers from more than 40 countries, working on a program aiming to produce epidemiological evidence on associations between environmental stressors, climate, and health (http://mccstudy.lshtm.ac.uk/). The list of partners is long: see http://mccstudy.lshtm.ac.uk/participants/.
Collaborator Contribution It is collaborative network that has produced already important research outputs (http://mccstudy.lshtm.ac.uk/publications/).
Impact http://mccstudy.lshtm.ac.uk/publications/
Start Year 2013
 
Description Spatio-temporal modelling of environmental exposures 
Organisation Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Established the collaboration with several experts and institutions for the collection of data resources and development/application of machine learning methods to reconstruct high-resolution spatio-temporal maps of environmental exposures in the UK
Collaborator Contribution Data provision, technical assistance, expertise in modelling
Impact Multidisciplinary: remote sensing satellite products, re-analysis data repositories, machine learning, geospatial methods, epidemiology
Start Year 2018
 
Description Spatio-temporal modelling of environmental exposures 
Organisation European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting ECMWF
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Established the collaboration with several experts and institutions for the collection of data resources and development/application of machine learning methods to reconstruct high-resolution spatio-temporal maps of environmental exposures in the UK
Collaborator Contribution Data provision, technical assistance, expertise in modelling
Impact Multidisciplinary: remote sensing satellite products, re-analysis data repositories, machine learning, geospatial methods, epidemiology
Start Year 2018
 
Description Spatio-temporal modelling of environmental exposures 
Organisation European Space Agency
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Established the collaboration with several experts and institutions for the collection of data resources and development/application of machine learning methods to reconstruct high-resolution spatio-temporal maps of environmental exposures in the UK
Collaborator Contribution Data provision, technical assistance, expertise in modelling
Impact Multidisciplinary: remote sensing satellite products, re-analysis data repositories, machine learning, geospatial methods, epidemiology
Start Year 2018
 
Description Spatio-temporal modelling of environmental exposures 
Organisation Lazio Regional Health Service
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Established the collaboration with several experts and institutions for the collection of data resources and development/application of machine learning methods to reconstruct high-resolution spatio-temporal maps of environmental exposures in the UK
Collaborator Contribution Data provision, technical assistance, expertise in modelling
Impact Multidisciplinary: remote sensing satellite products, re-analysis data repositories, machine learning, geospatial methods, epidemiology
Start Year 2018
 
Description Spatio-temporal modelling of environmental exposures 
Organisation Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Established the collaboration with several experts and institutions for the collection of data resources and development/application of machine learning methods to reconstruct high-resolution spatio-temporal maps of environmental exposures in the UK
Collaborator Contribution Data provision, technical assistance, expertise in modelling
Impact Multidisciplinary: remote sensing satellite products, re-analysis data repositories, machine learning, geospatial methods, epidemiology
Start Year 2018
 
Title R package dlnm 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running distributed lag non-linear models. The software is freely downloadable by everybody, and it is licensed under the GNU General Public License, meaning that, under appropriate reference and the assurance that novel material is provided under the same licence terms, it can be modified and extended by other researchers. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2009
Licensed Yes
Impact The software implementation in a free program has boosted the use of DLNMs among researchers in different countries, primarily (but not only) for studies on temperature and air pollution. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians.
 
Title R package mixmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running extended meta-analytical models. The software is freely downloadable by everybody, and it is licensed under the GNU General Public License, meaning that, under appropriate reference and the assurance that novel material is provided under the same licence terms, it can be modified and extended by other researchers. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed Yes
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of extended meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians.
 
Title R package mvmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running univariate or multivariate meta-analysis and meta-regression. The software is freely downloadable by everybody, and it is licensed under the GNU General Public License, meaning that, under appropriate reference and the assurance that novel material is provided under the same licence terms, it can be modified and extended by other researchers. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed Yes
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of multivariate meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians.
 
Title R package dlnm 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running distributed lag non-linear models. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2009 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program has boosted the use of DLNMs among researchers in different countries, primarily (but not only) for studies on temperature and air pollution. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/dlnm/index.html
 
Title R package mixmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running extended meta-analytical models. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of extended meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mixmeta/index.html
 
Title R package mvmeta 
Description The package contains functions and data examples for running univariate or multivariate meta-analysis and meta-regression. It is provided within the free software R and downloadable from internet through the R program. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2011 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The software implementation in a free program facilitates the use of multivariate meta-analytical techniques in the research community. Also, the package, developed in parallel with the statistical framework, offer a vehicle to promote the methodology and its use among non-statisticians. 
URL http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mvmeta/index.html
 
Description Centre for Statistical Modelling (CSM) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Centre of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Seminars and other activities are usually attended by 50-100 researchers, PhD or MSc students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020
URL http://csm.lshtm.ac.uk/
 
Description Centre on Climate Change & Planetary Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Centre of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/research/centres/centre-climate-change-and-planetary-health
 
Description Invited talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Series of invited talks and workshops in well-known research institutions and companies, such as Harvard School of Public Health, Karolinska Institute, Royal Statistical Society, The Children Hospital of Philadelphia, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), University of Pennsylvania, Ludwig Maximilians University, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Open University, St George's University of London, IQVIA, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020