The Lancet Series on Heat and Health

The series global launch webinar
On 24 August, the Lancet Series on Heat and Health was presented by the authors, and an expert panel reflected on the implications of the Series for public health practice and public policy. Watch a recording below.

As the global community contends with even hotter weather in a changing climate, there is a pressing need to better understand the most effective prevention and response measures, particularly in low-resource settings. 

On 20 August 2021, the Lancet Series on Heat and Health was published featuring two articles that integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines including epidemiology, physiology, medicine, climate science, built environment and sustainable development, with contributions from 15 authors from 8 countries spanning 4 continents: 

  • Ebi et. al. Hot weather and heat extremes: health risks
  • Jay et. al. Reducing the health effects of hot weather and heat extremes: from personal cooling strategies to green cities

The launch

Along with an opening address by Lancet consulting editor, Dr Selina Lo, Professor Kristie Ebi and Professor Ollie Jay presented on the papers, which synthesise the latest evidence and provide recommendations to improve public health responses during heatwaves, and to support sustainable human adaptation to extreme heat.   

The webinar also included a discussion between experts:

  • Prof. Karen C. Seto, Yale University
  • Prof. Virginia Murray, Public Health England
  • Dr Rupa Kumar Kolli, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
  • Associate Professor Carolyn Broderick, Chief Medical Officer, Tennis Australia

Watch the webinar

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Our participants

Dr Lo was appointed as Executive Director of the Australian Global Health Alliance in July 2021. She is a consulting editor to The Lancet. Prior to this she was The Lancet's Senior Editor based in Beijing and London and was responsible for global and planetary health commissions.

Dr Lo is a medical graduate from the University of Melbourne in 1993 with post-graduate education in tropical medicine (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and in public and international law (University of Melbourne) .  

She has previously worked for Doctors without Borders leading medical humanitarian project teams in Kabul, Afghanistan, Rakhine State, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, and Thailand.

Dr Lo was the medical coordinator for the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines based in Geneva, and Clinical Advisor to the Clinton Foundation based at the national Chinese Centre for Disease Control HIV AIDS unit.  

Dr Lo was the inaugural Executive Officer for Doctors for the Environment Australia and has been a senior research fellow at the University of Sydney, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, and the United Nations University – International Institute of Global Health, Malaysia.

She consulted for WHO, the Victorian Department of Health, and taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in Health Security and Disaster Preparedness.

She is a patron of the board of Global Ideas, sits on the steering committee of SESH Global: building capacity to crowdsource financing lower income country researchers in infectious diseases, and the Cancer Council Victoria Climate and Health reference group.

Ollie Jay is Professor of Heat and Health at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory, in the Sydney School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

He is also Lead Researcher of the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) Research Node on Climate Adaptation and Health, and a member of the Sydney Environment Institute.

To date, he has a total of 145+ peer-reviewed research publications in international journals (100+ as senior author) and has received funding from organisations such as National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Wellcome Trust, MS Research Australia, and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

He has recently led extreme heat policy development for Sports Medicine Australia, Tennis Australia (including the Australian Open), Cricket Australia, and the National Rugby League (including the 2017 Rugby League World Cup).

Professor. Jay is Deputy Editor for Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, and an Editorial Board member for Journal of Applied Physiology, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE), and Energy & Buildings.

He is also a Board of Trustees Member and a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and has been an invited plenary speaker at numerous national and international conferences.

He has active research collaborations within Australia, Canada, USA, and UK, and his research has featured in articles/interviews for TIME magazine, New York Times, BBC, ABC, CBC, NPR, Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Channel and Scientific American.

Visit Professor Jay's academic profile online

Professor Kristie L. Ebi is Professor in the Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington.

Professor Ebi has been conducting research and practice on the health risks of climate variability and change for nearly 25 years.

She has edited fours books on aspects of climate change, has more than 200 publications, and has been an author on multiple national and international climate change assessments, including the fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment, the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, and the upcoming Working Group II (impacts and adaptation) contribution to the IPCC 6th assessment report.

Visit Professor Ebi's academic profile online

Professor Capon directs the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and holds a chair in Planetary health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

A public health physician and authority in environmental health and health promotion, his research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health.

Professor Capon is a former director of the International Institute for Global Health at United Nations University (UNU-IIGH), and has previously held professorial appointments at the University of Sydney and Australian National University.

He is a member of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health that published its report Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch in 2015, and the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Planetary Health.

Professor Seto is the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at Yale University.

An urban and land change scientist, she is one of the world's leading experts on contemporary urbanization and global environmental change. Using a combination of field surveys, satellite data and numerical modeling, her research focus is how urbanization will affect the planet.

Professor Seto has pioneered methods to reconstruct urban land use with satellite imagery and has developed novel methods to forecast urban expansion. She has conducted urbanization research in China for twenty years and in India for more than ten. Her research has generated new knowledge on the links between urbanization and land use, food systems, biodiversity, and climate change.

Seto has served on numerous national and international scientific bodies. She is co-leading the urban mitigation chapter for the IPCC (UN Climate Change) 6th Assessment Report, currently underway, and co-lead the same chapter for the 2014 IPCC 5th Assessment Report.

She was co-editor-in-chief of the journal, Global Environmental Change, from 2014 to 2020. Prior to joining Yale, she was faculty at Stanford, from 2000 to 2008, where she held joint appointments in the Woods Institute for the Environment and the School of Earth Sciences.

She has received many awards for her scientific contributions, including the Outstanding Contributions to Remote Sensing Research Award from the American Association of Geographers. She was named a "Highly Cited Researcher" in 2018, 2019, and 2020 in recognition of her research papers having ranked in the top 1% of total citations across several fields.

Professor Seto is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned a PhD in Geography from Boston University.

Visit Professor Seto's academic profile online

Virginia is public health doctor committed to improving health emergency and disaster risk management.  

She was appointed as Head of Global Disaster Risk Reduction (GDRR) for Public Health England in April 2014 and in 2020 has been working additionally as a Senior Public Health Advisor for COVID-19. 

She was a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, published in March 20120, a lead author for Chapter 6 Heat And Extreme Event  for the UNEP The Adaptation Gap Report 2018, and is an executive committee member of the Global Heat Health Information Network

She is the Chair of the UNDRR/ISC Hazard Classification and Review Technical Working Group, and the report was published in July 2020.

She is co-chair of the WHO Thematic Platform Health and Disaster Risk Management Research Network and by working in collaboration with this network she has been one of the editors of the WHO Guidance on Research Methods for Health and Disaster Risk Management. She is a visiting/honorary Professor and fellow at several universities.

Dr Rupa Kumar Kolli is the Executive Director of the International CLIVAR Monsoon Project Office (ICMPO), at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India.

Earlier, Dr Kolli served as the Chief of World Climate Applications and Services Division at World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Geneva, Switzerland.

While at WMO, he supported activities enhancing national capacities, coordinating regional and global networks of climate service providers, user liaison in climate-sensitive sectors, and research-operations linkages.

He co-authored a book on “Climates of South Asia” published by John Wiley in 1997, published several research papers on climate prediction, climate change and climate services.

He had contributed as one of the Lead Authors on regional climate projections for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007.

Carolyn Broderick is a Staff Specialist in Sport and Exercise Medicine at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences at UNSW Sydney.

She is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Tennis Australia and was Deputy Medical Director for the Australian Olympic Team in Rio.

In her role as CMO of The Australian Open Grand Slam Tennis tournament she collaborated with Prof Ollie Jay to develop the world’s first evidence-based extreme heat policy for professional tennis.

Her research expertise is in the area of injury and illness prevention in sporting populations and developing evidence-based guidelines for physical activity.

A/Prof Broderick is actively involved in clinical sports medicine and policy development for national and international sports organisations. She co-developed the Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) Extreme Heat Policy which was released in 2021.

IMAGE: Duangdaw/Shutterstock.com

4 August 2021

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