Introduction

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript/introductionpeer-review

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    Abstract

    This book considers the impacts of climate change on allergens and allergic diseases. It is the first book to focus on this topic. It provides a comprehensive and up-to-date review, assessment, and synthesis of this topic based on the scientific literature. In addition, two of the chapters (Chapters 4 and 7) also present new findings. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide have increased. These and many other conclusions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group I in its contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report published in 2013 provide the climate change context for this book. The introductory chapter (Chapter 1) provides a brief description of this, focusing on aspects of climate change most relevant to allergens and allergic diseases. The book considers both observed (past and current) and projected (future) impacts. The spatial scope of the book is global and international. However, the nature of this topic requires that the full range of scales be considered, from the micro and molecular to the macro. The book consists of ten chapters. Seven of these (Chapters 2 to 8) focus primarily on the impacts of climate change on allergens per se. Each of these chapters explores a different aspect: aeroallergen production and atmospheric concentration (Chapter 2); the distributions of allergenic species (Chapter 3); aeroallergen dispersion, transport, and deposition (Chapter 4); allergenicity (Chapter 5); allergen seasonality (Chapter 6); indoor allergens (Chapter 7); and interactions among air pollutants and aeroallergens (Chapter 8). Chapter 9 explores climate change impacts on allergic diseases explicitly. A synthesis of the preceding nine chapters and an overview of mitigation and adaptation responses in the context of climate change impacts on allergens and allergic diseases are presented in Chapter 10. This final chapter also highlights a range of knowledge gaps and research needs. An impressive list of allergen-producing organisms, allergens, and allergic diseases is discussed. The former include a wide range of plants (trees, shrubs and weeds, and grasses), fungi, cockroaches, house dust mites, mice, and stinging insects. The allergic diseases considered here range from asthma and allergic rhinitis to allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, insect sting allergy, and food allergy. Much of the focus, however, is on plants and the pollen they produce, and asthma and allergic rhinitis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationImpacts of climate change on allergens and allergic diseases
    EditorsPaul J. Beggs
    Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Pages1-9
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)9781107272859
    ISBN (Print)9781107048935
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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