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by Jennifer Salmond, Clive E. Sabel ID and Sotiris Vardoulakis

Air pollution is not only toxic to the human body but also interacts with climate. Short lived climate pollutants (SLCP), such as black carbon and ozone, can exacerbate climate change, altering the frequency, duration, and location of heat waves and cold spells, storm intensity, precipitation patterns, and, possibly, ultra-violet radiation exposure, indirectly threatening urban lives and livelihoods. On the other hand, a warmer climate can have an impact on biogenic volatile organic compound emissions, the rate of atmospheric chemical reactions, and the depth of the atmospheric boundary layer, which all affect surface pollutant concentrations. 

The high probability of climate change that presents significant challenges to the future resilience of urban areas and the protection of public health, as urban populations are projected to be exposed to higher temperatures than are currently experienced. One of the keys to managing air pollution, climate change, and public health concerns effectively in urban areas is to improve our understanding of the ways in which urban land use affects human health outcomes.

Healthy-Polis (International Consortium for Urban Environmental Health & Sustainability) special issue on Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health has been published in Climate and is now available online (open access) at: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/climate/special_issues/urban_air_health