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[en] Climate change is predicted to increase the intensity and negative impacts of urban heat events, prompting the need to develop preparedness and adaptation strategies that reduce societal vulnerability to extreme heat. Analysis of societal vulnerability to extreme heat events requires an interdisciplinary approach that includes information about weather and climate, the natural and built environment, social processes and characteristics, interactions with stakeholders, and an assessment of community vulnerability at a local level. In this letter, we explore the relationships between people and places, in the context of urban heat stress, and present a new research framework for a multi-faceted, top-down and bottom-up analysis of local-level vulnerability to extreme heat. This framework aims to better represent societal vulnerability through the integration of quantitative and qualitative data that go beyond aggregate demographic information. We discuss how different elements of the framework help to focus attention and resources on more targeted health interventions, heat hazard mitigation and climate adaptation strategies.
[en] The aim of the study is the assessment and analysis of the variability of human-bioclimatic conditions in southern part of Warsaw, depending on the atmospheric circulation in the long-term (1998–2015). The Universal Thermal Climate Index UTCI was applied to evaluate the human-bioclimatic conditions using meteorological data for the 12:00 UTC obtained from the WULS Ursynów weather station. In order to determine the relationship between the UTCI and its corresponding synoptic situation, the circulation type classification proposed by Lityński was used. It was found that the period from the second decade of April to the first decade of October is the most favourable one for recreation and relaxation. The situations not caused by thermal loads of humans are the most frequent and the values vary from 42.9% in October to 66.6% in August. Whereas weather conditions causing the ‘strong’ and ‘very strong heat stresses’ and the ‘strong’ and ‘very strong cold stresses’ were relatively rare. The analysis of influence of atmospheric circulation on bioclimatic conditions has shown that the most favourable conditions with no heat load (class 0) of the body occurred during cyclonic circulation in the summer (70%) mainly at advection from the North and South. Particular analysis of selected most strenuous days of the heat wave and the cold wave confirmed the occurrence of a high frequency of conditions stressing the human body with ‘strong’ and ‘very strong heat’ as well as ‘strong cold’ for most of the day during anticyclonic circulation in both cases.
[en] Scientific challenges exist on how to extract information from the wide range of projected impacts simulated by crop models driven by climate ensembles. A stronger focus is required to understand and identify the mechanisms and drivers of projected changes in crop yield. In this study, we investigate the robustness of future projections of five metrics relevant to agriculture stakeholders (accumulated frost days, dry days, growing season length, plant heat stress and start of field operations). We use a large ensemble of climate simulations by the MIT IGSM-CAM integrated assessment model that accounts for the uncertainty associated with different emissions scenarios, climate sensitivities, and representations of natural variability. By the end of the century, the US is projected to experience fewer frosts, a longer growing season, more heat stress and an earlier start of field operations—although the magnitude and even the sign of these changes vary greatly by regions. Projected changes in dry days are shown not to be robust. We highlight the important role of natural variability, in particular for changes in dry days (a precipitation-related index) and heat stress (a threshold index). The wide range of our projections compares well the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble, especially for temperature-related indices. This suggests that using a single climate model that accounts for key sources of uncertainty can provide an efficient and complementary framework to the more common approach of multi-model ensembles. We also show that greenhouse gas mitigation has the potential to significantly reduce adverse effects (heat stress, risks of pest and disease) of climate change on agriculture, while also curtailing potentially beneficial impacts (earlier planting, possibility for multiple cropping). A major benefit of climate mitigation is potentially preventing changes in several indices to emerge from the noise of natural variability, even by 2100. This has major implications considering that any significant climate change impacts on crop yield would result in nation-wide changes in the agriculture sector. Finally, we argue that the analysis of agro-climate indices should more often complement crop model projections, as they can provide valuable information to better understand the drivers of changes in crop yield and production and thus better inform adaptation decisions. (letter)
[en] F1 progenies of 7x7 diallel fashion crosses comprising four high temperatures tolerant and three susceptible spring wheat parental genotypes were evaluated under normal and heat stress conditions. The characters days to heading, spike index at anthesis, plant height, spikes per plant, spikelets per spike and grain yield per plant were studied under both conditions. Analysis of variance under both conditions indicated additive gene action with partial dominance suggesting that these traits might be useful for the development of terminal heat tolerant varieties by modified pedigree selection.. However overdominance type of gene action was recorded for spikelets per spike suggesting that further improvement in this trait may be effected by biparental mating coupled with few cycles of recurrent selection. (author)
[en] The exposure of workers to hot environments is expected to increase as a result of climate change. In order to prevent heat-related illness, it is recommended that workers take breaks during working hours. However, this would lead to reductions in worktime and labor productivity. In this study, we estimate the economic cost of heat-related illness prevention through worker breaks associated with climate change under a wide range of climatic and socioeconomic conditions. We calculate the worktime reduction based on the recommendation of work/rest ratio and the estimated future wet bulb glove temperature, which is an index of heat stresses. Corresponding GDP losses (cost of heat-related illness prevention through worker breaks) are estimated using a computable general equilibrium model throughout this century. Under the highest emission scenario, GDP losses in 2100 will range from 2.6 to 4.0% compared to the current climate conditions. On the other hand, GDP losses will be less than 0.5% if the 2.0 °C goal is achieved. The benefit of climate-change mitigation for avoiding worktime loss is comparable to the cost of mitigation (cost of the greenhouse gas emission reduction) under the 2.0 °C goal. The relationship between the cost of heat-related illness prevention through worker breaks and global average temperature rise is approximately linear, and the difference in economic loss between the 1.5 °C goal and the 2.0 °C goal is expected to be approximately 0.3% of global GDP in 2100. Although climate mitigation and socioeconomic development can limit the vulnerable regions and sectors, particularly in developing countries, outdoor work is still expected to be affected. The effectiveness of some adaptation measures such as additional installation of air conditioning devices or shifting the time of day for working are also suggested. In order to reduce the economic impacts, adaptation measures should also be implemented as well as pursing ambitious climate change mitigation targets. (letter)
[en] The thermal comfort and its changes in the 31 provincial capital cities of mainland China in the past 30 years were comprehensively evaluated using the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) and Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) indicators. The PET and UTCI values were highly correlated with each other and presented similar thermal comfort pattern, although their sensitivities might differ slightly. The results showed that these cities covered, respectively, 4–8 and 6–8 thermal comfort classes of the PET and UTCI scale. On the whole, the annual cumulative number of pleasant days was more than 160 days/year. In terms of seasonal variations in thermal comfort conditions, the 31 provincial capital cities in mainland China can be classified into 5 types, which are, respectively, characterized by pleasant summer and severe cold winter (type-I); pleasant spring, autumn, winter, and severe hot summer (type-II); pleasant spring and autumn, slightly pleasant summer, and cold winter (type-III); pleasant spring and autumn, hot stress summer, and slightly cold winter (type-IV); and pleasant spring, summer, autumn, and cool winter (type-V). Type-II cities are rare winter resorts, while type-I cities are natural summer resorts. Type-V cities are the year round pleasant resorts. In the past three decades, the cities in mainland China had experienced increasing pleasant duration in late winter and early spring and intensifying heat stress in summer. The reduction in annual cumulative number of cold stress days in higher latitude/altitude cities outweighed the increase in duration of heat stress in subtropical cities. These may provide some references for urban planning and administration in mainland China.