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Annals of Human Biology

For an Article Collection on

Human Biology, Climate Change and Sustainability

Manuscript deadline
31 August 2024

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Article collection guest advisor(s)

This Collection is led by our Editor-in-Chief Professor Noel Cameron, Loughborough University, UK

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Human Biology, Climate Change and Sustainability

Climate change and sustainability have become topical foci  for a variety of scientific research groups dealing with human-environment interaction.  The rather cool definition of climate change given by the UK Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over a decade ago as “…the change in the mean state and/or variability of the climate system at decadal timescales and includes changes in temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric circulation patterns” (IPCC 2013) hides the dramatic impact of these changes on the health and wellbeing at community, national, and international levels.  Dramatic fluctuations in ambient temperature, heavy rainfall and violent storms have impacted agriculture, economic productivity, transport, and the many activities of daily living that allow human societies to function and prosper.  They also impact future generations requiring sustainable development to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (United Nations General Assembly, 1987).

Human Biology has a niche approach to studying climate change given by its raison d’être as a science that ‘portrays humankind on the canvas that serves also for other living things’ (Medawar 1964). It researches homo sapiens within the context of the environment in which they live; their evolution, genetics, biological variation, growth, maturation, nutrition, constitution, ecology and behaviour.  In the context of climate change and sustainability it directly undertakes research and reports on the effects of using sustainable practices.

The importance of discussing human biology, climate change and sustainability now is that our understanding of the factors involved in climate change, and the current and predicted impacts on humans and their environments, have clarified in the last decade.  We now not only have good records of recent impacts, but we are also able to predict more accurately future outcomes.

By considering climate change and sustainability within each of the sub-topics in the Annals of Human Biology we can provide detail to the current and future environment in which the biology of humans will prosper or fail.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2013. “Summary for Policymakers.” In Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis: Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Medawar PB. 1964 Foreword in Human Biology GA Harrison, JS Weiner, JM Tanner, NA Barnicot Oxford: Oxford University Press.

United Nations General Assembly (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 – Development and International Co-operation: Environment (Retrieved 31st January 2024)

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All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.