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Journal Article

Combined impacts of climate and air pollution on human health and agricultural productivity


Sillmann,  Jana
External Organizations;

Aunan,  Kristin
External Organizations;

Emberson,  Lisa
External Organizations;

Büker,  Patrick
External Organizations;

Van Oort,  Bob
External Organizations;

O’Neill,  Connie
External Organizations;


Otero Felipe,  Noelia
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

Pandey,  Divya
External Organizations;

Brisebois,  Anouk
External Organizations;

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Sillmann, J., Aunan, K., Emberson, L., Büker, P., Van Oort, B., O’Neill, C., Otero Felipe, N., Pandey, D., Brisebois, A. (2021): Combined impacts of climate and air pollution on human health and agricultural productivity. - Environmental Research Letters, 16, 9, 093004.

Cite as: https://publications.rifs-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6001215
Climate change and air pollution can interact to amplify risks to human health and crop production. This has significant implications for our ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. SDGs 2, 3, 13, 15) and for the design of effective mitigation and adaptation policies and risk management. To be able to achieve the SDG targets, closer integration of climate change and air pollution both in terms of impact assessment for human health and agricultural productivity and respective policy development is needed. Currently, studies estimating the impacts of climate and air pollutants on human health and crops mostly treat these stressors separately, and the methods used by the health and agricultural science communities differ. Better insights into the methods applied in the different communities can help to improve existing and develop new methods to advance our knowledge about the combined impacts of climate change and air pollution on human health and crops. This topical review provides an overview of current methodologies applied in the two fields of human health and agricultural crop impact studies, ranging from empirical regression-based and experimental methods to more complex process-based models. The latter are reasonably well developed for estimating impacts on agricultural crops, but not for health impacts. We review available literature addressing the combined effects of climate and air pollution on human health or agricultural productivity to provide insights regarding state-of-the-art knowledge and currently available methods in the two fields. Challenges to assess the combined effect of climate and air pollution on human health and crops, and opportunities for both fields to learn from each other, are discussed.