April 9, 2014
What are the human health implications of climate change? There is by now a well established body of evidence about the direct effects of increasing temperature, for example, heat stroke. But is that the full story? It is also possible that air pollution patterns may change as a result of the changing climate, especially ozone, whose production is stimulated by hot weather. In work started at The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) and later completed with colleagues at North Carolina State University, Howard Chang studied the effect of simultaneous changes in temperature and ozone, using simulations from climate models. Rather than run the model multiple times under different scenarios (a very time consuming process), Chang and his colleagues devised a statistical approach which saves computation time and also allows them to estimate the uncertainty in their projections. As a result, they find significant increases in projected mortality in the southeastern U.S. during the period 2041-2050 compared with 2000 levels.
The resulting paper, written by Chang, Jingwen Zhou, North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Montserrat Fuentes, NCSU, was awarded the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) Best Paper Award 2014. Their paper, “Impact of Climate Change on Ambient Ozone Level and Mortality in Southeastern United States” received the 3rd prize in the category “Articles.”
On an annual basis the IJERPH Best Paper Award recognizes outstanding papers in the area of environmental health sciences and public health that meet the aims, scope and high standards of the IJERPH journal.
The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) is one of eight mathematical institutes funded by the NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences, but is the only one that focuses on statistics and applied mathematics. Its mission is to forge a new synthesis of the statistical and applied mathematical sciences with disciplinary sciences to confront important data- and model-driven scientific challenges. It is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Samsi was founded in 2002.
SAMSI is a partnership of the National Science Foundation with a consortium of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences. You can find more information at www.samsi.info, @NISSSAMSI.