Impacts of climate change on the fate of contaminants through extreme weather events

Shiv Bolan, Lokesh P Padhye, Tahereh Jasemizad, Muthusamy Govarthanan, N Karmegam, Hasintha Wijesekara, Dhulmy Amarasiri, Deyi Hou, Pingfan Zhou, Basanta Kumar Biswal, Rajasekhar Balasubramanian, Hailong Wang, Kadambot H M Siddique, Jörg Rinklebe, M B Kirkham, Nanthi Bolan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The direct impacts of climate change involve a multitude of phenomena, including rising sea levels, intensified severe weather events such as droughts and flooding, increased temperatures leading to wildfires, and unpredictable fluctuations in rainfall. This comprehensive review intends to examine firstly the probable consequences of climate change on extreme weather events such as drought, flood and wildfire. This review subsequently examines the release and transformation of contaminants in terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric environments in response to extreme weather events driven by climate change. While drought and flood influence the dynamics of inorganic and organic contaminants in terrestrial and aquatic environments, thereby influencing their mobility and transport, wildfire results in the release and spread of organic contaminants in the atmosphere. There is a nascent awareness of climate change's influence of climate change-induced extreme weather events on the dynamics of environmental contaminants in the scientific community and decision-making processes. The remediation industry, in particular, lags behind in adopting adaptive measures for managing contaminated environments affected by climate change-induced extreme weather events. However, recognizing the need for assessment measures represents a pivotal first step towards fostering more adaptive practices in the management of contaminated environments. We highlight the urgency of collaboration between environmental chemists and climate change experts, emphasizing the importance of jointly assessing the fate of contaminants and a rigorous action to augment risk assessment and remediation strategies to safeguard the health of our environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168388
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date11 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2024

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