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Jangho Lee

Abstract

This study utilizes hourly land surface temperature (LST) data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) to analyze the seasonal and diurnal characteristics of surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) across 120 largest U.S. cities and their surroundings. Distinct patterns emerge in the classification of seasonal daytime SUHII and nighttime SUHII. Specifically, the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and albedo (ALB) play pivotal roles in influencing these temperature variations. The diurnal cycle of SUHII further reveals different trends, suggesting that climate conditions, urban and nonurban land covers, and anthropogenic activities during nighttime hours affect SUHII peaks. Exploring intracity LST dynamics, the study reveals a significant correlation between urban intensity (UI) and LST, with LST rising as UI increases. Notably, populations identified as more vulnerable by the social vulnerability index (SVI) are found in high UI regions. This results in discernible LST inequality, where the more vulnerable communities are under higher LST conditions, possibly leading to higher heat exposure. This comprehensive study accentuates the significance of tailoring city-specific climate change mitigation strategies, illuminating LST variations and their intertwined societal implications.

Open access
Julia Olson
and
Patricia Pinto da Silva

Abstract

The use of oral histories in social scientific approaches to climate change has enabled richly detailed explorations of the situated, meaning-laden dimensions of local experiences and knowledge. But “big data” approaches have been increasingly advocated as a means to scale up understandings from individual projects, through better utilizing large collections of qualitative data sources. This article considers the issues raised by such secondary analysis, using the NOAA Voices Oral History Archives, an online database with a focus on coastal communities and groups thought especially vulnerable to climatic changes. Coupling larger-scale methods such as text mining with more traditional methods such as close reading reveals variations across time and space in the ways people talk about environmental changes, underscoring how memories and experiences shape understandings and the subtlety with which these differences are articulated and culturally inscribed. Looking across multiple collections illuminates those shared understandings, points of contention, and differences between communities that might be obscured if decontextualized, showing the importance of “small data” approaches to big data to fully understand the deeply cultural understandings, perceptions, and histories of environmental changes such as climate change.

Open access
Laura Thomas-Walters
,
Matthew H. Goldberg
,
Sanguk Lee
,
Aidan Lyde
,
Seth A. Rosenthal
, and
Anthony Leiserowitz

Abstract

Extreme weather, including heat waves, poses a significant threat to ecosystems and human health. As global temperatures continue to rise, the frequency and severity of heat waves will increase. Because of this, communicating heat-related risks to the public is increasingly important. One commonly-used communication tool is the Climate Shift Index (CSI), which establishes how much more likely an extreme weather event, such as a heat wave, has been made by climate change. To test the impact of the CSI on people’s understanding of the links between climate change and extreme weather, we conducted an experiment informing 3,902 American adults that climate change made the July 2023 heat wave in the U.S. at least 5 times more likely. In addition to this standard CSI wording and 2 control messages, we also explored the effectiveness of reframing magnitude as a percentage, and whether mechanistic and attribution explanations of the relationship between climate change and heat waves further increase understanding. All treatments increased the belief that climate change made the July 2023 heat wave more likely and is making heat waves in general more likely as well. Additionally, we found that expressing the magnitude as a percentage was more effective than the standard CSI framing. We also found that just talking about the heatwave, without mentioning climate change, was enough to change beliefs.

Restricted access
Zoey Rosen
,
Marilee Long
,
Andrea Schumacher
,
Mark DeMaria
, and
Alan Brammer

Abstract

Map graphics are often used for hazard risk communication, layered with numerical, verbal, and visual information to describe an uncertain threat. In the hurricane context, graphics are used to communicate the probability of different threats over a forecasting period. While hurricane graphics have been studied in the past, they have not been designed with colorblind-friendly accessibility and localization in mind. This study presents the results of a mixed methods study, testing the perceptions of different color schemes and map overlays on a wind exceedance map graphic with samples of experts (emergency managers and meteorologists) and the public. Nineteen experts from Florida and Louisiana were interviewed about their preferences for and risk perceptions of the design elements of the new wind exceedance graphic. The graphic prototypes were also tested using a public sample (n = 624) from Florida and Louisiana to study participants’ design preferences and risk perceptions. Both expert and public samples preferred a yellow-to-red scheme, though experts thought the yellow-to-red scheme presented the hazard as riskier and the public thought the reds-only scheme was riskier. Experts and the public preferred a map graphic with overlays; they scored a map graphic with overlays as riskier than a version without overlays. Understanding the connection between color scheme preference and risk perception for both experts and the public has important implications on risk communication as new graphics are designed. The conclusion of this study provides avenues for future research for experts who want to apply universal design aspects into hurricane graphics.

Restricted access
Francesca Macaluso
,
Amber Vaughn
,
Stefan Wheat
,
Richard F. Hamman
, and
Katherine A. James

Abstract

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are serious health conditions with an enormous global health burden. There is evidence to suggest that CKD rates are increasing within the U.S. despite declines in traditional risk factors for kidney injury and disease, disproportionately impacting certain populations. Changes in meteorological factors because of climate change may be partially responsible for this increase in kidney injury. This study evaluated the association between acute kidney injury (AKI) and meteorological factors controlling for demographic and health factors among adults within the San Luis Valley, Colorado, a rural, bi-ethnic agrarian community at increased risk for health impacts from climate change, over a 15-year period. Relative humidity was a significant predictor of AKI controlling for age, sex, history of hypertension, and history of diabetes. Changing weather patterns may increase risk of AKI and the subsequent development of CKD within the U.S. These findings may help public health practitioners and medical professionals to identify populations at risk of incurring acute or chronic kidney injury as seasonal weather patterns change. Further research should investigate the role of heat, heat stress, and dehydration in developing CKD in the U.S.

Restricted access
Tonya R. Haigh
,
Douglas R. Kluck
,
Dennis P. Todey
, and
Laurie Nowatzke

Abstract

Evaluation of near-term (sub)seasonal climate services’ impact is challenging but necessary for ensuring that society’s needs for actionable information are met. We use a descriptive study of the monthly North Central Climate and Drought Webinar Series at two time points (2014 and 2021) to examine societal impacts on capacity-building, sense-making, fact-establishing, communication, decision-making, and social-ecological systems. The North Central Climate and Drought Webinar Series arose following a 2011 climate disaster and established itself over the next ten years as a monthly resource for climate and impact information translation and interaction. Survey respondents indicated early benefits related to understanding how to find and use climate information and improved conceptual understanding of climate issues and problems. Many used webinar information to compare with other sources of data or to incorporate into their own communications, uses which can increase overall societal trust in climate information over time. Attendees’ self-reported capacity for using climate information in decision-making and actual use of information in specific decisions or management context increased as the webinar series approached the ten-year mark. Most participants did not note financial or other social-ecological outcomes of their use of the webinars. We conclude by recommending that climate services be evaluated over sufficiently long time periods to capture evolving impacts, and that evaluations incorporate impact rubrics that measure subtle yet important societal capacities and decision-making processes related to climate risk management.

Restricted access
Jingwen Wu
and
Chen Zhang

Abstract

Improving the performance and resilience of the transportation system in cities is an important way to combat climate change. However, the relationship between weather conditions and traffic congestion remains unclear. This study investigates the association between weather conditions and traffic congestion (Congestion Delay Index, CDI) using a dataset encompassing 98 cities in China from 2015 to 2019. The results reveal that temperature exerts a significant negative effect on CDI, particularly during weekends. Conversely, rain, wind speed, and relative humidity exhibit significant positive effects on CDI. Specifically, traffic congestion would decrease by 6% when the temperature exceeds 25 °C, while it increases by 2% to 5.6% with rainfall increases on workdays. Besides, the precipitation-CDI relationship shows an inverse-U shape, especially on weekends. Although subways could mitigate the impact of temperature on cities compared to those without subways, the supplementary effect is mild on rainy days.

Restricted access
ShaoPeng Che
,
Kai Kuang
, and
Shujun Liu

Abstract

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have increasingly played pivotal roles in shaping climate agendas and mobilizing individuals to engage in environmental initiatives. However, the nature of NGOs’ online interaction with users, especially in developing countries, remains largely unexplored. This study focused on the dynamics of engagement between a Chinese NGO, Chinese Weather Enthusiasts (CWE), and Chinese youth on the social media platform of Bilibili. The research comprised two main components. First, named entity recognition was employed to analyze weather-related terms in CWE’s posts on Bilibili, and dynamic topic modeling was utilized to uncover shifts in thematic focus. Subsequently, descriptive analysis and negative binomial regression were employed to investigate the correlation between weather types and user engagement metrics. The study unveiled two noteworthy findings: first, CWE posts are closely linked to short-term weather, providing timely content that may meet the public’s demand for climate information. Second, the engagement of Chinese youth users is not affected by extreme weather types. Future research should continue to elucidate strategies that NGOs can employ to enhance online engagement among youth users.

Restricted access
James E. Overland
,
Elizabeth Siddon
,
Gay Sheffield
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
, and
Cody Szuwalski

Abstract

Our goal is to tie climate-scale meteorology to regional physics and ecosystem changes and demonstrate a few resulting impacts to which regional peoples are having to respond in the Alaskan Bering Strait region. The sea ice loss events in the winters of 2017/18 and 2018/19 initiated a series of marine environmental, ecological, and industrial changes through a chain of connected events from jet-stream meanders, storms, southerly winds, warmer sea temperatures, and minimum sea ice cover. Resulting impacts continue as coastal communities respond to ongoing nutritional, cultural, and economic challenges. Global warming potentially initiated these events through a weakened atmospheric Arctic Front. Ecological shifts included a transition/reorganization of the Bering Strait regional marine ecosystem. Subsequent changes included shifts in zooplankton species, increases in large-bodied, predatory fish species moving northward, an ice seal unusual mortality event, and seven consecutive years of multispecies seabird die-offs. These changes in the marine ecosystem create a serious food security concern. Ongoing impacts include large, toxic harmful algal blooms and coastal erosion. Recent changes to the maritime industries of the transboundary waters of the Bering Strait include increased industrial ship traffic, planned development of the Port of Nome, and northward proximity of foreign fishing activity. Projections for the next decades are for an increasing frequency of low sea ice years and continuing ecosystem and industrial transitions that contribute to increasing economic and food security concerns for the 16 coastal communities that compose the Bering Strait region.

Significance Statement

Extreme events in the atmosphere/oceans and resultant record sea ice minimums in 2018 and 2019 were manifested in marine ecosystem transitions and maritime industry impacts. This led to ongoing concerns over the food safety and food security of marine resources essential to the nutritional, cultural, and economic well-being of Alaskan coastal communities of the Bering Strait region. Persistent weakening of the Arctic Front may signal an increased frequency of low sea ice events into the next decades.

Open access
Meng Wang
,
Cheng Huang
, and
Qingguo Zhao

Abstract

The impacts of climate change on health are a critical public health issue, but the association between extreme temperatures and birth outcomes remains poorly understood. This paper links over 1 million birth records from Dongguan, China, between 2004 and 2013, to meteorological data. We investigate the relationship between extreme temperatures and birth outcomes and explore the heterogeneity among different demographic and socioeconomic factors, including maternal migrant status, education level, and mode of delivery. We find that one percentage increase in the number of days exposed to extreme heat during pregnancy is associated with a reduction in birth weight of 2.31 grams and a 2% increase in odds of LBW, while exposure to extreme cold temperatures is associated with a reduction in birthweight (0.66 g) and an increase in risk of LBW (1%). The association between extreme high temperatures and adverse birth outcomes is stronger for groups with disadvantaged social status. Specifically, the migrant group (for extreme heat exposure, local residents, −0.37 g, intra-provincial migrants, −2.75 g, out-of-province migrants, −2.49 g), the less-educated group (for extreme heat exposure, middle school or below, −2.47 g, high school or above, −1.66 g), and the group with vaginal birth (for extreme heat exposure, C-sections, −1.56 g, vaginal birth, −2.62 g) are more sensitive to extreme weather conditions. Our study provides further evidence about the association of extreme temperatures with birth outcomes and for vulnerable groups of pregnant women.

Restricted access