Knowledge Resources

UCHAI Report

Understanding Climate and Health Associations in India (UCHAI)

National Training Workshop
Date: 22-24 September, 2015, New Delhi
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Other presentations


Integrating Heat Adaptation with Climate and Disaster Plans at State as well as National Level in India

Date: 25 October 2016, 16:30-17:30 (IST)
Presenters: Dr John M. Balbus, Dr Anil Kumar Gupta, Dr Peter Berry, Dr Vikas Desai, Ms Suruchi Bhadwal

This webinar featured prominent experts in climate and health policy sector to discuss this issue, and to engage the climate, public health, and public policy professionals in the discussion.
Recorded webinar is available at:

Building the bridge between climate and public health

Date: 14 March 2016, 12:00-13:00 (IST)
Presenters: Dr Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Dr Anahit Hovsepyan, Prof. Dileep Mavalankar

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), USA, TERI, and TARU Leading Edge Private Limited co-hosted a webinar titled 'Building the Bridge between Climate and Public Health'. The webinar discussed the use of meteorological forecasts for public health early warning systems.
Recorded webinar is available at:

Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Islands

Date: 5 June 2014, 3:00-4:00 PM (IST)
Presenters: Ms Suruchi Bhadwal

This webinar organized on the occassion of World Environment Day, discussed the physical impacts of climate change on islands along with the observed and projected changes for the future, what makes islands a hotspot for vulnerability to climate change, whether the tag of 'sinking islands' and 'climate refugees' resonate with ground perspectives and an overview of the role of 'in situ climate adaptation'.

Recorded webinar is available at: 

Nature Climate Change
Journal of Climatology & Weather Forecasting
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health — Open Access Journal

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Title: Climate Change and Disease Dynamics in India

 Author: Dogra, Nitish and Srivastava, Sangeet (Ed.)

 Publisher: TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute)

Year of Publication:   2012

 ISBN:   9788179934128 (HB.)

 Abstract: Planetary health is today inextricably linked to population health. Climate change, an integral part of planetary health, is foremost among global environmental changes affecting human health. This mammoth challenge is characterized by the potential risk to cripple health systems worldwide and profoundly alter disease dynamics, thereby threatening the well-knit fabric as well as growth of society. Unfortunately, much of the evidence for these linkages has come largely from the developed world. By focusing on India, one of the significant developing countries of the global economy, Climate Change and Disease Dynamics in India aims to fill a crucial gap in the fields of climate science and public health. 
The book is divided into three main aspects: fundamentals, impacts and applied. By examining these aspects and more, the book seeks to explore the multitude of issues related to climate change and disease dynamics; right from the basics to the bedside to the boardroom. Each chapter reviews relevant global and India-specific evidence, and also the implication of that knowledge in programmatic terms and policy implications.

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Title: Climate Change and Human Health Scenario in South and Southeast Asia (Series: Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research)

Author: Rais, Akhtar (Ed.)

Publisher: Springer

Year of Publication:   2016

ISBN: 9783319236834 (HB.)

Abstract: This book is the first to present a regional analysis of climate change and human health, focusing on geographically and socio-economically distinct countries of South and Southeast Asia. It has a major focus on India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal and Taiwan. 
Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to human health. lt represents a range of environmental hazards and will affect populations in both the developed and developing countries. In particular, it affects the regions where the current burden of climate-sensitive diseases are high, which is the case in South and Southeast Asian countries. 

Contextual and Interdependent Causes of Climate Change Adaptation Barriers: Insights from Water Management Institutions in Himachal Pradesh, India
Source: Science of the Total Environment, Volume 576, 2017
Research on adaptation barriers is increasing as the need for climate change adaptation becomes evident. However, empirical studies regarding the emergence, causes and sustenance of adaptation barriers remain limited. This research identifies key contextual causes of adaptation barriers in water institutions in the mountainous Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with representatives from 26 key governmental, non-governmental, academic and research institutions in the State with responsibilities spanning domestic water supply, irrigation and hydropower generation, environmental monitoring and research. 
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Relationships of Climate and Irrigation Factors with Malaria Parasite Incidences in Two Climatically Dissimilar Regions in India
Source: Journal of Arid Environments, Volume 124, January 2016
Climate and irrigation conditions are associated with malaria infection from 1986 to 1995 in two climatically dissimilar regions in India. With annual averaged malaria parasite incidence (API) and seasonally averaged climate and irrigation variables in western Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh. In arid western Rajasthan, API is significantly positively correlated with summer precipitation and soil moisture, and negatively correlated with summer potential evapotranspiration. Irrigation variables during boreal spring show a significant positive correlation with API in the moisture-limited region. In humid Arunachal Pradesh, API is positively related to summer temperature, but negatively related to summer precipitation and spring irrigation variables, while no statistically significant correlations are observed.
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Effects of Climate and Climate Change on Vectors and Vector-Borne Diseases: Ticks are Different 
Source: Trends in Parasitology, Volume 32 Issue 8, 2016
There has been considerable debate as to whether global risk from vector-borne diseases will be impacted by climate change. This has focussed on important mosquito-borne diseases that are transmitted by the vectors from infected to uninfected humans. However, this debate has mostly ignored the biological diversity of vectors and vector-borne diseases. Climate and climate change may impact those most divergent of arthropod disease vector groups: multivoltine insects and hard-bodied (ixodid) ticks. 
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Dengue in a Changing Climate 
Source: Environmental Research, Volume 151, November 2016
Dengue is the world’s most important arboviral disease in terms of number of people affected. Over the past 50 years, incidence increased 30-fold: there were approximately 390 million infections in 2010. Globalization, trade, travel, demographic trends, and warming temperatures are associated with the recent spread of the primary vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus and of dengue. Overall, models project that new geographic areas along the fringe of current geographic ranges for Aedes will become environmentally suitable for the mosquito’s lifecycle, and for dengue transmission. Many endemic countries where dengue is likely to spread further have underdeveloped health systems, increasing the substantial challenges of disease prevention and control. Control focuses on management of Aedes, although these efforts have typically had limited effectiveness in preventing outbreaks. New prevention and control efforts are needed to counter the potential consequences of climate change on the geographic range and incidence of dengue, including novel methods of vector control and dengue vaccines.
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Adaptation of Farming Community to Climatic Risk: Does Adaptation Cost for Sustaining Agricultural Profitability? 
Source: Current Science, Volume. 110 Issue 7, 2016
Adopting proper varieties,crop and livestock management strategies and technical know-how can reduce the cost of farm operations, increase agricultural profits as well as the capacity to adapt to climatic risks. Additional cost is not always required for adaptation, and rationalizing agricultural expenditure through scientific crop management is essential for adapting to climatic risks. Diversification of farm income is needed for improving the adaptive capacity as well as livelihood security.
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Vulnerability of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea (L.) Czernj. Cosson) to Climate Variability and Future Adaptation Strategies
Source: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change,Volume. 21 Issue 3, 2016
A simulation study has been carried out using the InfoCrop mustard model to assess the impact of climate change and adaptation gains and to delineate the vulnerable regions for mustard (Brassica juncea (L.) Czernj. Cosson) production in India. On an all India basis, climate change is projected to reduce mustard grain yield by ~2 % in 2020 (2010–2039),~7.9 % in 2050 (2040–2069) and ~15 % in 2080 (2070–2099) climate scenarios of MIROC3.2.HI (a global climate model) and Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies(PRECIS, a regional climate model) models, if no adaptation is followed. However, spatiotemporal variations exist for the magnitude of impacts. Yield is projected to reduce in regions with current mean seasonal temperature regimes above 25/10 °C during crop growth.
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Rising Temperatures Reduce Global Wheat Production
Source: Nature Climate Change, Volume. 5, 2015
Crop models are essential tools for assessing the threat of climate change on local and global food production. Present models used to predict wheat grain yield are highly uncertain when simulating how crops respond to temperature. 
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Assessment of Impact of Climate Change on Potato and Potential Adaptation Gains in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of India
Source: International Journal of Plant Production, Volume. 9  Issue 1, 2015
India is the second largest producer of potato in the world. The Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) is the main potato growing region accounting for almost 85% of the 1.8 Mha under the crop in India where it is grown as an irrigated crop during the winter season. Since IGP is in sub-tropical plains, duration of the thermally suitable window is the main determinant limiting yields. Hence, the impact of climate change on potato in the IGP was assessed using MIROC HI.3.2 A1b and B1,PRECIS A1b, A2, B2 scenarios and estimated the potential adaptation gains. The potato crop duration in the IGP is projected to decrease due to climate change.
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Local Knowledge on the Use of Swertia Chirayita as Traditional Medicine: Conservation challenges in Sikkim Himalaya, India
Source: Ethnobotany Research and Applications, Volume No.14, 2014
Swertia chirayita (Roxb.) Buch.-Ham. ex C.B.Clarke (Gentianaceae) has been used as a traditional medicine,but this knowledge is eroding with modernization.This study attempted to understand the perception and knowledge of people about the species use and conservation in four districts of Sikkim Himalaya. A questionnaire survey was used for data collection. Swertia Chirayita is highly used for treating fever and cold and cough by both male (p <0.001; F = 63.72) and female (p <0.001; F = 86.16) respondents. Over 92% of respondents administer the species, as medicine, orally in the form of decoction. The perception on the market potential of Swertia Chirayita was significantly high amongst both male (p <0.001; F = 39.27) and female (p <0.001; F = 30.46) respondents. In Sikkim, a majority of respondents (p <0.05) consider habitat destruction and human disturbances as the chief causes of natural population decline of Swertia Chirayita.
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Vulnerability of Wheat Production to Climate Change in India
Source: Climatic Research, Volume 59,  2014
The production of wheat, a crop sensitive to weather, may be influenced by climate change. The regional vulnerability of wheat production to climate change in India was assessed by quantifying the impacts and adaptation gains in a simulation analysis using the InfoCrop-WHEAT model. This study projects that climate change will reduce the wheat yield in India in the range of 6 to 23% by 2050 and 15 to 25% by 2080.
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Plants used in Healthcare Practices by Limboo Tribe in South-West of Khangchendzonga Biospher Reserve, Sikkim, India
Source: Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Volume 12(3), 2013
The Study aim in exploring indigenous knowledge of Limboo tribe on plant use practices for local healthcare in Khangchendzonga Biospher Reserve, Sikkim. Use of 124 ethnomedicinal plants to cure 77 ailments, grouped into 13 broad categories, was recorded.Maximum number of species (31) was used to cure stomach related problems. Oral admiration (71.77%) was the common practice.
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Climate Change and Coconut Plantations in India: Impacts and Potential Adaptation Gains
Source: Agricultural System, Volume 117, 2013
The assessment of impact of climate change on coconut, a plantation crop, is challenging. However, the development of a simulation model (InfoCrop-COCONUT) has enabled the process. The researchers present the first simulation analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on coconut productivity in India following two approaches, namely: (i) ‘fixed increase in temperature and CO2, and (ii) scenarios as per PRECIS (Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies) – a regional climate model. Impact of changed management on coconut productivity in current as well as in future climates is also assessed.
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An Assessment of Regional Vulnerability of Rice to Climate Change in India
Source: Climatic Change, Volume 118 Issue 3, 2013
A simulation analysis was carried out using the InfoCrop-rice model to quantify impacts and adaptation gains, as well as to identify vulnerable regions for irrigated and rain-fed rice cultivation in future climates in India. Climates in A1b, A2, B1 and B2 emission scenarios as per a global climate model (MIROC3.2.HI) and a regional climate model (PRECIS) were considered for the study.
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Vector-Borne Disease and Climate Change 
Source: Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, 2011
Recent years have seen major shifts in a number of vector-borne diseases with West Nile virus appearing in New York and then spreading through much of North America, Chikungunya virus causing an outbreak in Italy, and Bluetongue virus causing a livestock disease spreading through northern Europe. It is perhaps expected that climate change will be invoked as a major driving force for these epidemic shifts. Climate variables such as rainfall and temperature do have demonstrable effects on the epidemiology of this group of pathogens. However, the actual effect is highly site specific suggesting that other factors play an equally important role. Climate change could affect vector-borne diseases in a number of ways.
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Assessment on Vulnerability of Sorghum to Climate Change in India
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment,Volume 138 Issue 3-4, 2010
It is important to analyse the impacts of climate change on target production system. However, it is more important to deduce possible adaptation strategies so that the research and developmental policies can be guided to meet the challenges of climate change. Impacts of climate change on the sorghum production system in India are analysed using InfoCrop-SORGHUM simulation model. In general, impact of climate change is projected to be more on winter crop in central (CZ) and south-central zones (SCZ), while in south-west zone (SWZ) the impacts are likely to be higher on monsoon crop.
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Climate Change and Indian Agriculture: Current Understanding on Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability and Mitigation
Source: Journal of Plant Biology, Volume. 32 Issues 2, 2010
The global studies on climate change and its impact on agriculture do not depict the finer regional variability for effectively developing the adaptation strategies. Thus, the regional and local studies become important. In this review, a conscious effort is made to emphasize and include all possible climate change related studies in India. Analysis of past data indicates changes in temperature and rainfall in India. Future climate scenarios indicate spatio-temporal variation in change in temperatures and rainfall. The winter (Rabi) seasonal temperatures are projected to increase more than that of monsoon season (Kharif). Rainfall is likely to increase in some central and eastern parts of India.
Simulating impacts, Potential Adaptation and Vulnerability of Maize to Climate Change in India
Source: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change,Volume. 15 Issue 5, 2010
Climate change associated global warming, rise in carbon dioxide concentration and uncertainties in precipitation has profound implications on Indian agriculture. Maize (Zea mays L.), the third most important cereal crop in India, has a major role to play in country’s food security. Thus, it is important to analyse the consequence of climate change on maize productivity in major maize producing regions in India and elucidate potential adaptive strategy to minimize the adverse effects.
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Assessment on Vulnerability of Sorghum to Climate Change in India
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment,Volume 138 Issue 3-4, 2010
It is important to analyse the impacts of climate change on target production system. However, it is more important to deduce possible adaptation strategies so that the research and developmental policies can be guided to meet the challenges of climate change. Impacts of climate change on the sorghum production system in India are analysed using InfoCrop-SORGHUM simulation model. In general, impact of climate change is projected to be more on winter crop in central (CZ) and south-central zones (SCZ), while in south-west zone (SWZ) the impacts are likely to be higher on monsoon crop.
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Ethnomedicinal Plant use by Lepcha Tribe of Dzongu Valley, Bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in North Sikkim, India
Source: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2008
Lepcha is the oldest and the first tribe reported from Sikkim, India; majority of its population inhabiting in Dzongu valley, an officially demarcated reserve for Lepcha community, bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in north district. Lepchas of Dzongu are known for their retention of rich cultural heritage. In view of the on-going cultural and economic changes brought in by the process of globalization, the immediate need was felt to document in details the underexplored ethnomedicinal practices of Lepchas of Dzongu valley. This paper reports 118 species, belonging to 71 families and 108 genera, under ethnomedicinal utility by the Lepchas for curing approximately 66 ailments, which could be grouped under 14 broad categories. Zingiberaceae appeared as the most used family (8 species and 5 genera).
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Impact of Climate Change on Vector Borne Diseases with Emphasis on Malaria
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Impact of climate change on human health in India: an overview Vinod Joon and Vaishali Jaiswal
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Conference Proceedings
The first Climate Services Forum for Health (CSF-Health) brought together health and meteorological partners from across the South Asia region to focus on how to improve the management of extreme heat events in South Asia. To know about this meeting’s proceedings, click the link below.
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Climate Change: Our greatest health threat, or our greatest opportunity for better health?

Video explains how climate change threatens human health - and why this outlook does not have to be the path we choose

The Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change

This film explores the growing link between global environmental change, psychological and mental health challenges.

Climate Change Adaptation and Health: It is time to act

The film aims to raise awareness on the urgency of adaptation measures in the health sector to increase its resilience and responsiveness to negative consequences of climate change.

Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Pathways to Resilience

Both top-down and bottom-up actions must be taken now to mitigate current and future health threats

Adapting to Climate Change in the Cook Islands. The Human Health Dimension

Adapting to climate change in the Cook Islands: The human health dimension by the GCCA Project of SPC.

Public Health Impacts of Climate Change in India

Recordings of seminar organised at University of Boston. Seminar focuses on the public health impacts of climate change in India.

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