Four Students Presented at the ASA Conference with Dr. Amm Quamruzzaman

Four undergraduate students, who took ISF 199 (Supervised Independent Study
and Research for Upper Division Majors) in spring 2021 with Dr. Amm
Quamruzzaman, presented a co-authored paper with him at the American
Sociological Association annual conference. The conference took place in Los
Angeles from August 5-9, 2022. The title of the paper is “Climate Change and
COVID-19: Are Countries with Bigger Ecological Footprints Suffering more from
COVID-19?” The authors are Amm Quamruzzaman (Lead Author, Interdisciplinary
Studies Field, UC Berkeley), Ava S Currie (Ecosystem Management & Forestry, UC
Berkeley), Rohith A Moolakatt (Molecular Environmental Biology & ISF, UC
Berkeley), Scott Hashimoto (Molecular Cell Biology, UC Berkeley), Joyce Wang
(Molecular Environmental Biology, UC Berkeley), and Abdur R Sikder (Computer
Science & Bioinformatics, San Francisco State University).

This paper is based on the observation that on average more COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred
in colder and affluent regions such as Europe and North America compared to
hotter and developing regions such as Africa and Asia, with exceptions for
Oceania and South America. In this paper, the authors investigate the following
questions: Why have higher COVID-19 cases and deaths occurred in the colder
and affluent regions of Europe and North America? Is there any relationship
between the rising global temperature and the outbreak of the current
respiratory pandemic? Using the planetary pressure-adjusted human
development index (PHDI) data from the UNDP and the data on daily coronavirus
cases and deaths from Our World in Data for 167 countries, they conduct an
instrumental variable (IV) regression analysis in which the average annual
temperature for 1991-2020 is used as an instrument. Their results suggest
that global warming has most likely increased economic growth and human
development over time in the Global North but made their lifestyle and ecology
more vulnerable and unsustainable due to the planetary pressures they have
created with their growing carbon and material footprint. The unsustainable
lifestyle has led to a decline in the natural immunity of the people and,
consequently, more COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Global North. The authors
argue that if the roots of the current pandemic are related to climate change, the
efforts to control both COVID-19 and climate change should be reciprocal, not in
isolation from one another.

Photo of Group