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Yu-Wen Su

Abstract

The continuously increasing temperatures worldwide indicate that the frequently extreme heat in summer will become a new normal. The extreme high temperature (EHT) could be dangerous to human health, especially for outdoor workers or commuters, and could increase the risk of grid collapse. Thus, the possibility of a day off due to EHT has started to be discussed in Taiwan, based on the experience of typhoon day off, but discussions have not yet concluded. In this study, the effects of the EHT day off on electricity consumption in the industrial, service, and residential sectors were investigated through two determinants: First, high temperature would increase the electricity consumption in space cooling. Second, a day off would change people’s behavior of electricity consumption from workday to nonworkday modes. Combining the effects of cooling hours and nonworkdays, the net influence of the EHT day off on electricity consumption can be evaluated. Estimated results indicated that an EHT day off can reduce aggregate electricity consumption by between 0.41% and 1.08%. The reduction of electricity consumption due to the off day offsets the increase driven by high temperatures. Thus, an EHT day off will mitigate the pressure on the power grid and benefit electricity conservation.

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Aparna Bamzai-Dodson, Amanda E. Cravens, Alisa A. Wade, and Renee A. McPherson

Abstract

Natural and cultural resource managers are increasingly working with the scientific community to create information on how best to adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change. Engaging with these managers is a strategy that researchers can use to ensure that scientific outputs and findings are actionable (or useful and usable). In this article, the authors adapt Davidson’s wheel of participation to characterize and describe common stakeholder engagement strategies across the spectrum of inform, consult, participate, and empower. This adapted framework provides researchers with a standardized vocabulary for describing their engagement approach, guidance on how to select an approach, methods for implementing engagement, and potential barriers to overcome. While there is often no one “best” approach to engaging with stakeholders, researchers can use the objectives of their project and the decision context in which their stakeholders operate to guide their selection. Researchers can also revisit this framework over time as their project objectives shift and their stakeholder relationships evolve.

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Mohd Zeeshan, Huanyuan Zhang, Liqing Sha, Gnanamoorthy Palingamoorthy, Zayar Phyo, Ziwei Chen, Goldin Quadros, and P. A. Azeez

Abstract

Substantial temperature rise is reported in the Himalayas, and the vulnerability of the region to climate change is well recognized. An apt adaptation strategy to cope with climate change calls for informed people’s participation, which was rarely investigated in the western Himalayas. Having been better informed, people in developed areas adopt better actions against climate change that are well guided by their perception. In contrast, Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir represents a relatively impoverished and climate change–vulnerable region. Therefore, we gauged people’s perceptions and actions in this area from a household survey from 717 randomly selected individuals. Further, consistency of perception was compared with meteorological records on temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall, and aboveground biomass from 1983 to 2013. The findings revealed that temperature increased significantly while changes in rainfall, wind speed, and relative humidity were insignificant. Although people sensed a rise in temperature and deforestation correctly, most of them differ with respect to rainfall, wind speed, and humidity. They reported rising pollution and traffic but no change in crop productivity or crop varieties. Of the respondents, 91% considered climate change as a risk, 86.8% reported reactive actions to it, and 82.8% reported proactive actions. Locals from varied socioeconomic backgrounds are not much informed about climate change; hence, the reasonability of their responses and positive adaptation actions needs further research. To engage people in climate adaptation actions, we suggest disseminating precise scientific information about local climate through awareness programs and by engaging them in climate change activities through suitable organizations.

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Susmita Mitra, Pradeep K. Mehta, and Sudipta Kumar Mishra

Abstract

Groundwater salinity, caused by overextraction and aggravated by climate change, negatively affects crop productivity and threatens global food security. Poor farmers are vulnerable because of low adaptive capacity. A better understanding of their perceptions and adaptation is important to inform policies for successful adaptation. This paper represents an important study by exploring the same in Mewat, a salinity-affected socioeconomically disadvantaged district of northern India. The study uses a mixed-method approach with both secondary data and a primary survey of 250 farmers. A large number of farmers perceived negative impacts on water, crop, income, and assets, and they adapt in various ways such as water, crop, and land management; livelihood diversification; and a shift toward surface water irrigation. Perceived impacts differed between richer and poorer farmers, whereas adaptation measures varied across the educational, social, and economic backgrounds of farmers. Lack of awareness, education, skill development, and livelihood opportunities are found to be hindrances, whereas institutional and infrastructural support are facilitators of adaptation. In comparing the findings with global experiences, we argued that developed countries intervene more in the policy level and infrastructure, whereas in developing countries, adaptation strategies are local, context specific, and low cost. The insights from our study will be useful for intervention in Mewat and similar areas across the developing world. We further argue that farmers make adaptation decisions on the basis of perceived impacts and cost–benefit analysis. Therefore, future research work on quantifying the negative impacts and cost–benefit analysis of various adaptation measures will be useful to ensure successful adaptation in the region and beyond.

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Alexia Karwat and Christian L. E. Franzke

Abstract

Over the last few decades, heat waves have intensified and have led to excess mortality. While the probability of being affected by heat stress has significantly increased, the risk of heat mortality is rarely quantified. This quantification of heat mortality risk is necessary for systematic adaptation measures. Furthermore, heat mortality records are sparse and short, which presents a challenge for assessing heat mortality risk for future climate projections. It is therefore crucial to derive indicators for a systematic heat mortality risk assessment. Here, risk indicators based on temperature and mortality data are developed and applied to major cities in Germany, France, and Spain using regional climate model simulations. Bias-corrected daily maximum, minimum, and wet-bulb temperatures show increasing trends in future climate projections for most considered cities. In addition, we derive a relationship between daily maximum temperatures and mortality for producing future projections of heat mortality risk from extreme temperatures that is based on low (representative concentration pathway RCP2.6) and high (RCP8.5) emission scenario future climate projections. Our results illustrate that heat mortality increases by about 0.9% decade−1 in Germany, 1.7% decade−1 in France, and 7.9% decade−1 in Spain for RCP8.5 by 2050. The future climate projections also show that wet-bulb temperatures above 30°C will be reached regularly, with maxima above 40°C likely by 2050. Our results suggest a significant increase of heat mortality in the future, especially in Spain. On average, our results indicate that the mortality risk trend is almost 2 times as high in all three countries for the RCP8.5 scenario relative to RCP2.6.

Open access
Emma Austin, Anthony S. Kiem, Jane Rich, David Perkins, and Brian Kelly

Abstract

Drought is a global threat to public health. Increasingly, the impact of drought on mental health and well-being is being recognized. This paper investigates the relationship between drought and well-being to determine which drought indices most effectively capture well-being outcomes. A thorough understanding of the relationship between drought and well-being must consider the (i) three aspects of drought (duration, frequency, and magnitude); (ii) different types of drought (meteorological, agricultural, etc.); and (iii) the individual context of specific locations, communities, and sectors. For this reason, we used a variety of drought types, drought indices, and time windows to identify the thresholds for wet and dry epochs that enhance and suppress impacts to well-being. Four postcodes in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, are used as case studies in the analysis to highlight the spatial variability in the relationship between drought and well-being. The results demonstrate that the relationship between drought indices and well-being outcomes differs temporally, spatially, and according to drought type. This paper objectively tests the relationship between commonly used drought indices and well-being outcomes to establish whether current methods of quantifying drought effectively capture well-being outcomes. For funding, community programs, and interventions to result in successful adaptation, it is essential to critically choose which drought index, time window, and well-being outcome to use in empirical studies. The uncertainties associated with these relationships must be accounted for, and it must also be realized that results will differ on the basis of these decisions.

Open access
Anna Heidenreich, Martin Buchner, Ariane Walz, and Annegret H. Thieken

Abstract

Heat waves are increasingly common in many countries across the globe, and also in Germany, where this study is set. Heat poses severe health risks, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children. This case study explores visitors’ behavior and perceptions during six weekends in the summer of 2018 at a 6-month open-air horticultural show. Data from a face-to-face survey (n = 306) and behavioral observations (n = 2750) were examined by using correlation analyses, ANOVA, and multiple regression analyses. Differences in weather perception, risk awareness, adaptive behavior, and activity level were observed between rainy days (maximum daily temperature < 25°C), warm summer days (25°–30°C), and hot days (>30°C). Respondents reported a high level of heat risk awareness, but most (90%) were unaware of actual heat warnings. During hot days, more adaptive measures were reported and observed. Older respondents reported taking the highest number of adaptive measures. We observed the highest level of adaptation in children, but they also showed the highest activity level. From our results we discuss how to facilitate individual adaptation to heat stress at open-air events by taking the heterogeneity of visitors into account. To mitigate negative health outcomes for citizens in the future, we argue for tailored risk communication aimed at vulnerable groups.

Open access
Zhiming Yang, Bo Yang, Pengfei Liu, Yunquan Zhang, and Xiao-Chen Yuan

Abstract

Climate may significantly affect human society. Few studies have focused on the temperature impact on residents’ health, especially mental health status. This paper uses 98 423 observations in China to study the relationship between temperature and health, based on the China Family Panel Studies survey during 2010–16. We analyze the health effects of extreme hot and cold weather and compare the effects under different social demographic factors including gender, age, and income. We find that temperature and health status exhibit a nonlinear relationship. Women and low-income households are more likely to be impacted by extreme cold, whereas men, the elderly, and high-income households are more sensitive to extreme heat. Our results highlight the potential effects of extreme temperatures on physical and mental health and provide implications for future policy decisions to protect human health under a changing climate.

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William Mushawemhuka, Gijsbert Hoogendoorn, and Jennifer M. Fitchett

Abstract

The tourism sector plays a major role in the economic development of a number of countries in the global south, particularly southern Africa. One such country is Zimbabwe, which struggles with significant economic hardships and relies heavily on the tourism sector. The Victoria Falls, a key tourism attraction of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, was the subject of a plethora of news articles published between November 2019 and January 2020. The media suggested that the world’s largest waterfall had dried up as a result of climate change–induced drought. These reports arose during the dry season and were thus arguably ill founded and downplayed the natural seasonal characteristics of the Zambezi River. This paper presents content analysis of these media articles and the phenomenological qualitative data analysis of interviews conducted with tourism operators in Victoria Falls. Although some of the articles published within this period strived for accurate reporting, some articles claimed that the Victoria Falls was dry, which was inconsistent with experiences of tourism operators. This inaccurate reporting is argued by the tourism operators to have negatively affected the tourism sector and destination image of the key attraction. This paper highlights the need for accurate science-based media reporting on weather, climate, climate change, and the knowledge of the local tourism stakeholders within the tourism sector.

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Daphne E. Whitmer and Valerie K. Sims

Abstract

The goal of this research was to examine students’ risk perception of hurricanes and hurricane-related storms to address a critical gap in the literature. Participants were asked to rate their perceptions of a tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricanes from category 1 to category 5 on five dimensions and define the storms based on wind speed. Last, individual differences in sex and growing up on the coast were examined to determine whether they explain differences in risk perceptions. Findings showed that participants’ perceptions of category-1 through category-5 hurricanes followed a linear pattern, and each pair was perceived to be significantly different. However, participants rated tropical storm and tropical depression as more severe than a category-1 hurricane and were unable to define any of the storms based on wind speed. In fact, coastal natives were less accurate at defining the storms and believed the low-tier storms to be less severe than noncoastal natives. This research is the first to show that people implicitly understand the Saffir–Simpson scale that defines hurricanes into categories 1 through 5 but not the part of the scale that defines the lesser-tiered storms. The present work demonstrates a need for enhanced education of hurricanes, because students do not make important distinctions at the lower end of the hurricane scale.

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