This research explores how weather and heat waves affect health in the present day, and how health risks from weather and air pollution could be affected by a changing climate. We have investigated how weather-related mortality differs by region, population characteristics, and heat wave characteristics (e.g., timing in summer), which gives insight into adaptation to extreme conditions. By linking air quality, meteorological, and climate change models, we estimated changes in ozone levels and subsequent health response under a changing climate for 50 U.S. cities. Another topic of interest is co-benefits in which policies aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions may result in improvements in air quality, and thereby health, in the near term. Future research projects will address changes in exposure-response relationships through adaptation. We recently began a study of how climate change could impact forest fires and thereby human health.
Selected Relevant Publications
Heat-Related Mortality and Adaptation to Heat in the United States, Jennifer F. Bobb, Roger D. Peng, Michelle L. Bell, Francesca Dominici, Environmental Health Perspectives 122:811–816
Heat-related emergency hospitalizations for respiratory diseases in the Medicare population, G. Brooke Anderson, Francesca Dominici, Yun Wang, Meredith C. McCormack, Michelle L. Bell, Roger D. Peng, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 87(10), p. 1098-1103
Towards a quantitative estimate of future heat wave mortality under global climate change, Peng RD, Bobb JF, Tebaldi C, McDaniel L, Bell ML, Dominici F, Environmental Health Perspectives 119(5), p. 701-706.
Heat waves in the United States: Mortality risk during heat waves and effect modification by heat wave characteristics in 43 US communities, Anderson GB, Bell ML, Environmental Health Perspectives 119(2), p: 210-218.
Ancillary human health benefits of improved air quality resulting from climate change mitigation, Bell ML, Davis DL, Cifuentes LA, Krupnick AJ, Morgenstern RD, Thurston GD, Environmental Health 7:41.
Vulnerability to heat-related mortality in Latin America: a case-crossover study in São Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Mexico City, Mexico, Bell ML, O’Neill MS, Ranjit N, Borja-Aburto VH, Cifuentes LA, Gouveia NC, International Journal of Epidemiology 37(4), p. 796-804.
Climate change, ambient ozone, and health in 50 U.S. cities, Bell ML, Goldberg R, Hogrefe C, Kinney PL, Knowlton K, Lynn B, Rosenthal J, Rosenzweig C, Patz J, Climatic Change 82(1-2), p. 61-76.