Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. The Anthropocene: Human–Nature Interactions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter H. Raven
      Pages 11-20 Open Access
    3. Howard Frumkin
      Pages 21-37 Open Access
    4. Partha Dasgupta
      Pages 39-48 Open Access
  3. Air Pollution, Climate Change, and Health: The Underlying Science and Impacts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Jonathan M. Samet
      Pages 63-78 Open Access
    3. Maria Neira, Veerabhadran Ramanathan
      Pages 93-103 Open Access
    4. Jos Lelieveld
      Pages 105-117 Open Access
  4. Climate Change and Health: Sustainability and Vulnerable Populations and Regions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Wael K. Al-Delaimy
      Pages 121-133 Open Access
    3. Joachim von Braun
      Pages 135-148 Open Access
    4. Paolo D’Odorico, Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
      Pages 149-163 Open Access
    5. Virgilio Viana
      Pages 165-174 Open Access
  5. Climate Change and Health: Perspectives from Physicians

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Lise Van Susteren, Wael K. Al-Delaimy
      Pages 177-192 Open Access
    3. Conrado J. Estol
      Pages 193-204 Open Access

About this book


This open access book not only describes the challenges of climate disruption, but also presents solutions. The challenges described include air pollution, climate change, extreme weather, and related health impacts that range from heat stress, vector-borne diseases, food and water insecurity and chronic diseases to malnutrition and mental well-being.

The influence of humans on climate change has been established through extensive published evidence and reports. However, the connections between climate change, the health of the planet and the impact on human health have not received the same level of attention. Therefore, the global focus on the public health impacts of climate change is a relatively recent area of interest. This focus is timely since scientists have concluded that changes in climate have led to new weather extremes such as floods, storms, heat waves, droughts and fires, in turn leading to more than 600,000 deaths and the displacement of nearly 4 billion people in the last 20 years. 

Previous work on the health impacts of climate change was limited mostly to epidemiologic approaches and outcomes and focused less on multidisciplinary, multi-faceted collaborations between physical scientists, public health researchers and policy makers. Further, there was little attention paid to faith-based and ethical approaches to the problem.

The solutions and actions we explore in this book engage diverse sectors of civil society, faith leadership, and political leadership, all oriented by ethics, advocacy, and policy with a special focus on poor and vulnerable populations. The book highlights areas we think will resonate broadly with the public, faith leaders, researchers and students across disciplines including the humanities, and policy makers.


Human Health Planetary Health Climate Change Air pollution environmental health environmental impacts of climate change environmental justice open access

Editors and affiliations

  • Wael K. Al-Delaimy
    • 1
  • Veerabhadran Ramanathan
    • 2
  • Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo
    • 3
  1. 1.University of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Scripps Institution of Oceanography University of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.Bishop-Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of SciencesVatican CityVatican City State

About the editors

Wael Al-Delaimy is an epidemiologist and Professor of Global Health at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego. He is co-founder and Associate Director of the UCSD Institute for Public Health. His research has focused on chronic diseases among children and adults and worked on studies of respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. He helped introduce climate change and health as a new area to UCSD and the School of Medicine.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan is Frieman Endowed Presidential Chair in Climate Sustainability at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Professor Ramanathan is an international leader in the science of climate change and in developing solutions for slowing global warming. In 1975, he discovered that the greenhouse effects of non-CO2 pollutant gases like Chlorofluorocarbons can warm the planet in significant ways. This discovery enabled the Montreal protocol to become the first successful climate mitigation policy.

Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was born in Buenos Aires and was ordained a priest in 1968. He was lecturer in the history of philosophy at the Lateran University in Rome where he became full professor. He was dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the same university and full professor of the history of philosophy at the Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, Rome. In 1998 he was appointed Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

Bibliographic information


“The book is written for scientists and policy developers. It will probably be most useful to scientists, engineers, and technicians in government bureaus and departments seeking facts and solutions for environmental problems. … This work is unique in bringing together expert scientists and leading political and religious figures to work on needs and solutions in environmental policy.” (Eugene N. Anderson, Doody’s Book Reviews, October 9, 2020)