June 11, 2023
Source: Inside Climate News
Amir Sapkota keeps a close eye on weather anomalies such as late onset of snowfall or early snowmelt because, for one, they can prolong the forest fire season and lead to a variety of health hazards.
“It’s also an occupational hazard,” said Sapkota, a professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health in College Park. He studies how climate change affects chronic ailments such as kidney and diarrheal diseases.
Prolonged wildfires can lead to increased hospitalization and mortality, he said, especially at a time when global warming is fueling severe weather events such as heatwaves and hurricanes, and causing climate disruptions including changes in the duration and timing of the onset of monsoons.
Sapkota joined the University of Maryland in 2007 after finishing his post-doctoral training in environmental Epidemiology at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France. He feels connected to Baltimore City, where he studied as a doctoral student and earned his Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.