Environmental Causes (environmental + cause)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Teaching and Learning Guide for: The Geopolitics of Climate Change

Jon Barnett
Author's Introduction Climate change is a security problem in as much as the kinds of environmental changes that may result pose risks to peace and development. However, responsibilities for the causes of climate change, vulnerability to its effects, and capacity to solve the problem, are not equally distributed between countries, classes and cultures. There is no uniformity in the geopolitics of climate change, and this impedes solutions. Author Recommends 1.,Adger, W. N., et al. (eds) (2006). Fairness in adaptation to climate change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. A comprehensive collection of articles on the justice dimensions of adaptation to climate change. Chapters discuss potential points at which climate change becomes ,dangerous', the issue of adaptation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the unequal outcomes of adaptation within a society, the effects of violent conflict on adaptation, the costs of adaptation, and examples from Bangladesh, Tanzania, Botswana, and Hungary. 2.,Leichenko, R., and O'Brien, K. (2008). Environmental change and globalization: double exposures. New York: Oxford University Press. This book uses examples from around the world to show the way global economic and political processes interact with environmental changes to create unequal outcomes within and across societies. A very clear demonstration of the way vulnerability to environmental change is as much driven by social processes as environmental ones, and how solutions lie within the realm of decisions about ,development' and ,environment'. 3.,Nordås, R., and Gleditsch, N. (2007). Climate conflict: common sense or nonsense? Political Geography 26 (6), pp. 627,638. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2007.06.003 An up-to-date, systematic and balanced review of research on the links between climate change and violent conflict. See also the other papers in this special issue of Political Geography. 4.,Parry, M., et al. (eds) (2007). Climate change 2007: impacts adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. The definitive review of all the peer-reviewed research on the way climate change may impact on places and sectors across the world. Includes chapters on ecosystems, health, human settlements, primary industries, water resources, and the major regions of the world. All chapters are available online at http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg2.htm 5.,Salehyan, I. (2008). From climate change to conflict? No consensus yet. Journal of Peace Research 45 (3), pp. 315,326. doi:10.1177/0022343308088812 A balanced review of research on the links between climate change and conflict, with attention to existing evidence. 6.,Schwartz, P., and Randall, D. (2003). An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security. San Francisco, CA: Global Business Network. Gives insight into how the US security policy community is framing the problem of climate change. This needs to be read critically. Available at http://www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=26231 7.,German Advisory Council on Global Change. (2007). World in transition: climate change as a security risk. Berlin, Germany: WBGU. A major report from the German Advisory Council on Global Change on the risks climate changes poses to peace and stability. Needs to be read with caution. Summary and background studies are available online at http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_jg2007_engl.html 8.,Yamin, F., and Depedge, J. (2004). The International climate change regime: a guide to rules, institutions and procedures. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. A clear and very detailed explanation of the UNFCCC's objectives, actors, history, and challenges. A must read for anyone seeking to understand the UNFCCC process, written by two scholars with practical experience in negotiations. Online Materials 1.,Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ecsp The major website for information about environmental security. From here, you can download many reports and studies, including the Environmental Change and Security Project Report. 2.,Global Environmental Change and Human Security Project http://www.gechs.org This website is a clearing house for work and events on environmental change and human security. 3.,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) http://www.ipcc.ch/ From this website, you can download all the chapters of all the IPCC's reports, including its comprehensive and highly influential assessment reports, the most recent of which was published in 2007. The IPCC were awarded of the Nobel Peace Prize ,for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made (sic) climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change'. 4.,Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research http://www.tyndall.ac.uk The website of a major centre for research on climate change, and probably the world's leading centre for social science based analysis of climate change. From this site, you can download many publications about mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and about various issues in the UNFCCC. 5.,United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change http://unfccc.int/ The website contains every major document relation to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, including the text of the agreements, national communications, country submissions, negotiated outcomes, and background documents about most key issues. Sample Syllabus: The Geopolitics of Climate Change topics for lecture and discussion Week I: Introduction Barnett, J. (2007). The geopolitics of climate change. Geography Compass 1 (6), pp. 1361,1375. United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, address to the 12th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Nairobi, 15 November 2006. Available online at http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=495&ArticleID=5424&l=en Week II: The History and Geography of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Topic: The drivers of climate change in space and time Reading Baer, P. (2006). Adaptation: who pays whom? In: Adger, N., et al. (eds) Fairness in adaptation to climate change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 131,154. Boyden, S., and Dovers, S. (1992). Natural-resource consumption and its environmental impacts in the Western World: impacts of increasing per capita consumption. Ambio 21 (1), pp. 63,69. Week III: The Environmental Consequences of climate change Topic: The risks climate change poses to environmental systems Reading Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2007). Climate change 2007: climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability: summary for policymakers. Geneva, Switzerland: IPCC Secretariat. Watch: Al Gore. The Inconvenient Truth. Weeks IV and V: The Social Consequences of Climate Change Topic: The risks climate change poses to social systems Reading Adger, W. N. (1999). Social vulnerability to climate change and extremes in coastal Vietnam. World Development 27, pp. 249,269. Comrie, A. (2007). Climate change and human health. Geography Compass 1 (3), pp. 325,339. Leary, N., et al. (2006). For whom the bell tolls: vulnerability in a changing climate. A Synthesis from the AIACC project, AIACC Working Paper No. 21, International START Secretariat, Florida. Stern, N. (2007). Economics of climate change: the Stern review. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (Chapters 3,5). Week VI: Mitigation of Climate Change: The UNFCCC Topic: The UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol Reading Najam, A., Huq, S., and Sokona, Y. (2003). Climate negotiations beyond Kyoto: developing countries concerns and interests. Climate Policy 3 (3), pp. 221,231. UNFCCC Secretariat. (2005). Caring for climate: a guide to the climate change convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Bonn, Germany: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat. Weeks VII and VIII: Adaptation to Climate Change Topic: What can be done to allow societies to adapt to avoid climate impacts? Reading Adger, N., et al. (2007). Assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. In: Parry, M., et al. (eds) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 717,744. Burton, I., et al. (2002). From impacts assessment to adaptation priorities: the shaping of adaptation policy. Climate Policy 2 (2,3), pp. 145,159. Eakin, H., and Lemos, M. C. (2006). Adaptation and the state: Latin America and the challenge of capacity-building under globalization. Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions 16 (1), pp. 7,18. Ziervogel, G., Bharwani, S., and Downing, T. (2006). Adapting to climate variability: pumpkins, people and policy. Natural Resources Forum 30, pp. 294,305. Weeks IX and X: Climate Change and Migration Topic: Will climate change force migration? Readings Gaim, K. (1997). Environmental causes and impact of refugee movements: a critique of the current debate. Disasters 21 (1), pp. 20,38. McLeman, R., and Smit, B. (2006). Migration as adaptation to climate change. Climatic Change 76 (1), pp. 31,53. Myers, N. (2002). Environmental refugees: a growing phenomenon of the 21st century. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 357 (1420), pp. 609,613. Perch-Nielsen, S., Bättig, M., and Imboden, D. (2008). Exploring the link between climate change and migration. Climatic Change (online first, forthcoming); doi:10.1007/s10584-008-9416-y Weeks XI and XII: Climate Change and Violent Conflict Topic: Will Climate change cause violent conflict? Readings Barnett, J., and Adger, N. (2007). Climate change, human security and violent conflict. Political Geography 26 (6), pp. 639,655. Centre for Strategic and International Studies. (2007). The age of consequences: the foreign policy and national security implications of global climate change. Washington, DC: CSIS. Nordås, R., and Gleditsch, N. (2007). Climate conflict: common sense or nonsense? Political Geography 26 (6), pp. 627,638. Schwartz, P., and Randall, D. (2003). An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security. San Francisco, CA: Global Business Network. [online]. Retrieved on 8 April 2007 from http://www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=26231 Focus Questions 1Who is most responsible for climate change? 2Who is most vulnerable to climate change? 3Does everyone have equal power in the UNFCCC process? 4Will climate change force people to migrate? Who? 5What is the relationship between adaptation to climate change and violent conflict? [source]

Adult-onset tic disorder, motor stereotypies, and behavioural disturbance associated with antibasal ganglia antibodies

Mark J. Edwards MBBS
Abstract The onset of tics in adulthood is rare and, unlike the childhood variety, there is commonly a secondary environmental cause. We present four cases (1 man, 3 women) with an adult onset tic disorder (mean age of onset, 36 years; range, 27,42 years) associated with the presence of serum antibasal ganglia antibodies (ABGA). One patient had motor tics and unusual motor stereotypies, 2 had multiple motor and vocal tics, and the remaining patient had motor tics only. Concomitant psychiatric disturbance was noted in 3 cases. In 2 cases, there was a close temporal relationship between upper respiratory tract infection and the subsequent onset of tics. Imaging was possible in three cases and was normal in two but revealed a lesion involving the right caudate and lentiform nuclei in the other. We suggest that there might be a causal relationship between ABGA and the clinical syndrome in these cases and that ABGA should be considered as a possible etiology for adult-onset tics. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society [source]

The definition and diagnosis of Asthma

F. E. Hargreave
Summary The diagnosis of asthma depends on what we mean by the word. Its definition continues to be controversial because there is no single genetic or environmental cause. Addressed from a descriptive point of view, the disease components include airway inflammation, symptoms, variable airflow limitation and chronic airflow limitation. The essentialist definition conveys the message that asthma is a separate disease entity, fails to identify a primary defining characteristic which separates it from other diseases and is long winded. These disadvantages are overcome by the nominalist definition of asthma in which the word ,asthma'refers to an abnormality of airway function, specifically to wide variations in airflow limitation over short periods of time. In patients with asthma the other components of airway disease need to be considered. These have separate nominalist definitions and especially include different types of bronchitis for airway inflammation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for chronic airflow limitation. What is present will vary between and within patients. The accurate diagnosis of asthma and of other components of disease all require objective measurements. Currently spirometry and airway responsiveness should be available to the general practitioner, who sees milder disease, and additional quantitative sputum cell counts in specialist practice, where moderate to severe disease is more prevalent. Such measurements characterize the patient, identify heterogeneity and allow treatment to be personalized. [source]

The epidemiology of autistic spectrum disorders: is the prevalence rising?

Lorna Wing
Abstract For decades after Kanner's original paper on the subject was published in 1943, autism was generally considered to be a rare condition with a prevalence of around 2,4 per 10,000 children. Then, studies carried out in the late 1990s and the present century reported annual rises in incidence of autism in pre-school children, based on age of diagnosis, and increases in the age-specific prevalence rates in children. Prevalence rates of up to 60 per 10,000 for autism and even more for the whole autistic spectrum were reported. Reasons for these increases are discussed. They include changes in diagnostic criteria, development of the concept of the wide autistic spectrum, different methods used in studies, growing awareness and knowledge among parents and professional workers and the development of specialist services, as well as the possibility of a true increase in numbers. Various environmental causes for a genuine rise in incidence have been suggested, including the triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR]. Not one of the possible environmental causes, including MMR, has been confirmed by independent scientific investigation, whereas there is strong evidence that complex genetic factors play a major role in etiology. The evidence suggests that the majority, if not all, of the reported rise in incidence and prevalence is due to changes in diagnostic criteria and increasing awareness and recognition of autistic spectrum disorders. Whether there is also a genuine rise in incidence remains an open question. MRDD Research Reviews 2002;8:151,161. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Nonlinear epigenetic variance: review and simulations

Kees-Jan Kan
We present a review of empirical evidence that suggests that a substantial portion of phenotypic variance is due to nonlinear (epigenetic) processes during ontogenesis. The role of such processes as a source of phenotypic variance in human behaviour genetic studies is not fully appreciated. In addition to our review, we present simulation studies of nonlinear epigenetic variance using a computational model of neuronal network development. In each simulation study, time series for monozygotic and dizygotic twins were generated and analysed using conventional behaviour genetic modelling. In the results of these analyses, the nonlinear epigenetic variance was subsumed under the non-shared environmental component. As is commonly found in behaviour genetic studies, observed heritabilities and unique environmentabilities increased with time, whereas common environmentabilities decreased. The fact that the phenotypic effects of nonlinear epigenetic processes appear as unsystematic variance in conventional twin analyses complicates the identification and quantification of the ultimate genetic and environmental causes of individual differences. We believe that nonlinear dynamical system theories provide a challenging perspective on the development of individual differences, which may enrich behaviour genetic studies. [source]

Diagnosing the environmental causes of the decline in Grey Partridge Perdix perdix survival in France

IBIS, Issue 1 2001
We studied Grey Partridge Perdix perdix mortality during breeding to identify the environmental causes of a long-term decline in adult survival. We radiotagged and monitored daily from mid-March to mid-September 1009 females on ten contrasting study sites in 1995-97. Simultaneously, we recorded habitat features and estimated the abundance of Hen and Marsh Harriers Circus cyaneus and C. aeruginosus Red Fox Vulpes vulpes and mustelids. We experimentally tested whether scavenging could have biased predation rates. We also examined, through the necropsy of 80 carcasses of Grey Partridge, whether disease, parasites or poisoning could have been ultimate causes of high predation rates. The survival rate of radiotagged females during spring and summer ranged from 0.25 to 0.65 across study areas. Mortality peaked in May, June and July when females were laying and incubating. The direct negative impact of farming practices was low (6%). Predation was the main proximate cause of female mortality during breeding (73%) and determined the survival rate, suggesting no compensation by other causes of mortality. Ground carnivores were responsible for 64% of predation cases, and raptors for 29%, but this proportion varied across study sites. Disease and poisoning did not appear to favour predation, and scavenging was not likely to have substantially overestimated predation rates. The predation rate on breeding females was positively correlated with the abundance of Hen and Marsh Harriers, suggesting an additional mortality in areas where harriers were abundant. The proportion of raptor predation was linearly related to harrier abundance. The predation rate was not correlated with the abundance of the Red Fox and mustelids. A potential density-dependent effect on the predation rate was confounded by the abundance of harriers. We found no convincing relationship between the predation rate and habitat features, but we observed a positive relationship between the abundance of Hen and Marsh Harriers and the mean field size. This suggested that habitat characteristics may contribute to high predation rates through predator abundance or habitat-dependent predation. [source]

Efficacy of integrated interventions combining psychiatric care and nursing home care for nursing home residents: a review of the literature

Janine Collet
Abstract Background Nursing home residents needing both psychiatric care and nursing home care for either somatic illness or dementia combined with psychiatric disorders or severe behavioural problems are referred to as Double Care Demanding patients, or DCD patients. Integrated models of care seem to be necessary in order to improve the well-being of these residents. Objectives Two research questions were addressed. First, which integrated interventions combining both psychiatric care and nursing home care in DCD nursing home residents are described in the research literature? And second, which outcomes of integrated interventions combining both psychiatric care and nursing home care in DCD nursing home residents are reported in the literature? Method A critical review of studies was done that involved integrated interventions combining both psychiatric care and nursing home care on psychiatric disorders and severe behavioural problems in nursing home patients. A systematic literature search was performed in a number of international databases. Results Eight intervention trials, including four RCTs (2b level of evidence), were identified as relevant studies for the purpose of this review. Seven studies, three of which were RCTs, showed beneficial effects of a comprehensive, integrated multidisciplinary approach combining medical, psychiatric and nursing interventions on severe behavioural problems in DCD nursing home patients. Conclusions Important elements of a successful treatment strategy for DCD nursing home patients include a thorough assessment of psychiatric, medical and environmental causes as well as programmes for teaching behavioural management skills to nurses. DCD nursing home patients were found to benefit from short-term mental hospital admission. This review underlines the need for more rigorously designed studies to assess the effects of a comprehensive, integrated multidisciplinary approach towards DCD nursing home residents. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Historically, researchers have sought to identify environmental causes of employee turnover. This paradigm has led to the underemphasis of individual differences as being an important cause of individuals' turnover decisions. The results of the meta-analysis show that personality traits do have an impact on individuals' turnover intentions and behaviors. The trait of Emotional Stability best predicted (negatively) employees' intentions to quit, whereas the traits of Conscientiousness and Agreeableness best predicted (negatively) actual turnover decisions. A theoretically developed path model showed important direct effects from personality to intentions to quit and turnover behaviors that were not captured through job satisfaction or job performance. These direct effects indicate that employees who are low on Emotional Stability may intend to quit for reasons other than dissatisfaction with their jobs or not being able to perform their jobs well. The direct effects on turnover suggest that individuals who are low on Agreeableness or high on Openness may engage in unplanned quitting. Personality traits had stronger relationships with outcomes than did non-self-report measures of job complexity/job characteristics. [source]

Epidemiologic approaches to identifying environmental causes of birth defects

Helen Dolk
Abstract Epidemiology can be used to elucidate environmental causes of birth defects. This paper discusses 1) different types of environmental causes; 2) the difficulties in comparing the prevalence of birth defects between populations, including the need for a population base and the implications of prenatal diagnosis; 3) the main study designs for observational epidemiological studies and the various sources of bias; 4) how statistical power can be increased by meta-analysis or multicentric studies, and improved grouping of birth defects into etiologically more homogeneous subgroups; 5) the distinction between association and causation; 6) the interpretation of clusters in time and space in relation to local environmental causes; and 7) the potential of genetic epidemiology to help elucidate environmental causes. While further research continues into the environmental causes of birth defects, the epidemiologic evidence base for policy making and clinical practice is poor in many areas. The epidemiologic approach is important not only to elucidate environmental causes but also to assess the implementation of existing research into policy and practice for the prevention of birth defects. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Spouse selection by health status and physical traits.

Abstract Military medical information and data from civil registers of death and marriage have been used to study the role of physical characteristics and health conditions in explaining access to marriage for the male population of Alghero, a small city located in Sardinia Island (Italy), at the turn of 19th century. Literature data about contemporary populations have already demonstrated the influence of somatic traits in the mate choice. The results presented here show that men with low height and poor health status at the age of 20 were negatively selected for marriage. This holds true also in a society where families often arranged marriages for their children. This pattern of male selection on marriage was found to be particularly marked among the richest and wealthiest SES groups. Our hypothesis is that this social group carefully selected for marriage those individuals who were apparently healthier and therefore more likely to guarantee good health status and better life conditions to offspring. In evolutionary terms, the mate choice component of sexual selection suggests that the height of prospective partners could be claimed as one of the determinants, along with other environmental causes, of the observed higher stature of men belonging to the wealthiest social strata of the Alghero population. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Birth Defects Cluster Study: A national approach to birth defects cluster investigations,,

James E. Kucik
Abstract BACKGROUND: Investigations of clusters of birth defects have been challenging endeavors that have had only modest success identifying causes or risk factors. Some of the challenges to individual cluster investigations have been small sample size and limited data collection. We describe a novel approach for investigating and analyzing pooled information from a series of birth defects cluster investigations. METHODS: The Birth Defects Cluster Study uses a case-control study design with standardized methods, including a case definition, control selection, data collection methods, and data collected (e.g., maternal interviews, blood samples, and environmental samples). Analyses of pooled data from several clusters of the same defect are conducted for specific hypotheses once a sufficient sample size has been achieved. The feasibility of conducting individual birth defect investigations was evaluated on a cluster of gastroschisis. RESULTS: The pilot investigation of a cluster of gastroschisis demonstrated success in recruiting participants and in collecting data and specimens for eventual inclusion in a pooled analysis. CONCLUSIONS: The Birth Defects Cluster Study offers a unique and effective approach to cluster investigations that improves the likelihood of identifying genetic and environmental causes of birth defects and provides a model for cluster investigations of other noninfectious health outcomes. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2008. Published 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]