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Maité Morales-Medina
,
Ana P. Ortíz-Martínez
,
Cynthia M. Pérez-Cardona
,
Digna Rueda-Roa
,
Daniel Otis
,
Edgar Pérez-Matías
,
Frank Muller-Karger
,
Olga Mayol-Bracero
, and
Pablo Méndez-Lázaro

Abstract

An extreme Saharan dust storm (named Godzilla) arrived to the Caribbean region in June 2020, deteriorating the air quality to hazardous levels and unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups of people. Our main objective was to characterize populations at risk for Saharan Dust by analyzing distribution and levels of dust events in Puerto Rico, and by conducting an online survey to assess community perceptions on Saharan Dust health effects. Three daily satellite aerosols products from 2013 to 2020 were retrieved from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite over Puerto Rico to better understand the patterns, frequency, and seasonality of aerosols. The atmospheric results indicated that extreme values (>99th) of big size aerosols (e.g. Sahara dust) were observed over Puerto Rico on June 22, 2020. A total of 1,504 qualified people participated in the survey during the summer of 2020, and it was analyzed with descriptive statistics, frequency analysis, and chi-square tests. 51% of the survey participants were on the age group of 25-44 years old, and 65% of the participants had at least one pre-existing health condition (respiratory diseases 27%; cardiovascular diseases 28%). Nearly 90% of the participants indicated that Saharan dust affected the health status of both the respondents and their family members. Irritation of eyes (22%), nose (24%), and throat (23%), as well as breathing difficulties (10%) were the most common symptoms reported. Understanding patients’ health profiles associated with Saharan dust is essential before developing public health strategies to minimize exacerbation of health conditions in Puerto Rico.

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Andrea Mah
,
Carolina Aragón
, and
Ezra Markowitz

Abstract

To support human flourishing in a climate-changed world, individuals and communities will have to take costly and challenging adaptation actions. Although there is evidence of increasing public concern over climate change, current levels of engagement and adaptation action remain insufficient. There is a need for innovative ways to bring individuals and communities into the climate movement. Public art installations that creatively communicate relevant aspects of the problem may represent one largely untapped pathway to greater levels of engagement. Here, we examined how virtual exposure to a public art installation, FutureSHORELINE, impacted climate change risk perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, and emotions. The installation depicted sea level rise impacts and solutions for a shoreline area in Boston, Massachusetts. In study 1 (N = 474), participants were randomly assigned to view the art in different formats: video, stills, or 360° viewers. Exposure to this installation, in any format, was associated with greater perceived risk of climate change, feelings of personal responsibility to address climate change, and likelihood of engaging in community-led initiatives related to climate change as compared with pre-art-exposure levels. In study 2 (N = 294), the video was compared, with and without text, with a no-information control. This study revealed that the video impacted emotional reactions to climate change. Public art installations may present a model by which to make information about the local impacts of climate change and proposed adaptation solutions visible to diverse audiences, providing a novel way to increase public concern and engagement.

Significance Statement

While much climate change art has been created, efforts to systematically evaluate its impacts are sparse. The purpose of this work was to examine how viewing a landscape installation impacted climate change and sea level rise perceptions. Across two studies, we evaluated the impacts of viewing a Boston (Massachusetts)-based landscape installation depicting the impacts of, and a solution to, sea level rise and flooding. Our results highlight the potential usefulness of art as a means of communicating about climate change.

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Zeying Huang
,
Jungmin Lim
, and
Mark Skidmore

Abstract

Extreme heat events stress the body and can result in fatalities, especially for those with underlying health problems. Air pollution is another threat to health and is an important confounder of extreme heat risks. However, previous empirical studies that have addressed the joint health impacts of air pollution and heat rarely considered the endogeneity and spillover effects of air pollution. To fill this research gap, this article investigates the interconnected impacts of extreme heat and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on all-cause and cause-specific mortality. We correct the endogeneity of PM2.5 by applying the control function approach and explore transboundary externalities of all-source PM2.5 and wildfire-caused PM2.5. We use a county-year balanced panel dataset covering 2,992 United States counties from 2001 through 2011. Results show that extreme heat and air pollution exacerbate each other and jointly increase mortality. Specifically, a one standard deviation (SD) increase in the heat index results in 0.60% (95% confidence interval: 0.26% - 0.97%), 2.14% (1.34% - 2.94%), and 0.86% (0.41% - 1.34%) more all-cause fatalities, fatalities from respiratory system diseases, fatalities from circulatory system diseases, respectively. A one SD increase in PM2.5 results in 5.75% (3.61% - 7.90%), 6.99% (3.01% - 11.15%), and 2.93% (0.66% - 5.28%) additional fatalities, respectively. Failure to consider the endogeneity of PM2.5 leads to a substantial underestimation of PM2.5 risk. In addition, our instrumental variable strategy offers evidence of spillover effects from PM2.5 and wildfires.

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Zhudeng Wei
and
Beibei Li

Abstract

Famine poses a significant threat to human food security and sustainable development. This study investigates the prevalence and magnitude of famine and its connection to climatic change/disasters at different spatiotemporal scales. The famine index was reconstructed using 13 828 famine-related literature records in China during the Qing Dynasty (CE 1644–1911). The study found that extreme drought/flood events instantaneously triggered famine at the seasonal to interannual scale, leading to intermittent occurrences of great famines. Drought-induced famine was the most prominent. Famine was positively correlated with drought in both short-term variations and long-term trends across different regions. The effect of floods on famines was double-edged and varied between the north and south of China. The severe famines that occurred between 1811 and 1878 were related to both climatic cooling and an increase in drought/flood events under a situation of growing population pressure on resources. The greatest famine of 1876–78 was probably the result of long-term interactions among intensifying human–land contradictions since the early nineteenth century, periodic droughts in north China, and a weakening of regional buffering mechanisms due to flood-induced declines in south China.

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Kathleen Sherman-Morris
and
S. M. Asger Ali

Abstract

In-depth analysis of the content of broadcast tornado warning coverage is limited. Such analysis is important due to local television’s role as a key source for tornado warning information. This study attempts to fill gaps in our knowledge regarding broadcast coverage of tornado warnings by demonstrating how local television news stations’ coverage of tornadic events can be systematically analyzed to better understand this element of warning communication. We reviewed both visual and verbal content for information such as the prominence of specific radar products, the geographic scale of warning communication, and common themes in verbal communication. A combination of deductive and inductive coding approaches was used to summarize the verbal content of the broadcasts. We found that the stations heavily used radar products with reflectivity and velocity surpassing correlation coefficient. The geographic scale of mapped products (street, city/county, and state level) appeared to be related to the rural or urban nature of the area warned, which may have implications for how readily rural residents would be able to personalize tornado threats. Verbal content was very similar between the two stations. The theme of monitoring and updating conditions, which included processes such as zooming in and out, making adjustments, reinforcing conditions, and providing damage reports was the most frequent communication type, likely because weathercasters use these processes to both communicate the warning and also to help themselves understand the situation. The results can inform future studies examining the influence of specific elements of broadcast warning coverage on risk perception and protective actions.

Significance Statement

Television is a key source for receiving or confirming tornado warnings, but few studies have examined the content of broadcast warnings in depth. This study examined the visual and verbal content of broadcast tornado warnings on two local television stations. Radar products were used heavily, and street-level coverage was more common when a tornado affected a metropolitan area. Coverage was most common at the city/county level. Verbal content included many elements of effective warning communication but at times included jargon that may not be understood by viewers. The results can serve as a springboard for future research on the impacts of these elements on risk perception and response. It can also serve future research by distinguishing what viewers of severe weather broadcasts are exposed to that nonviewers are not.

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Juan A. Añel
,
Celia Pérez-Souto
,
Susana Bayo-Besteiro
,
Luis Prieto-Godino
,
Hannah Bloomfield
,
Alberto Troccoli
, and
Laura de la Torre

Abstract

In 2021, the energy sector was put at risk by extreme weather in many different ways: North America and Spain suffered heavy winter storms that led to the collapse of the electricity network; California specifically experienced heavy droughts and heatwave conditions, causing the operations of hydropower stations to halt; floods caused substantial damage to energy infrastructure in central Europe, Australia and China throughout the year, and unusual wind drought conditions decreased wind power production in the United Kingdom by almost 40% during summer. The total economic impacts of these extreme weather events are estimated at billions of USD. Here we review and assess in some detail the main extreme weather events that impacted the energy sector in 2021 worldwide, discussing some of the most relevant case studies and the meteorological conditions that led to them. We provide a perspective on their impacts on electricity generation, transmission and consumption, and summarize estimations of economic losses.

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Jelmer Jeuring
,
Eirik Mikal Samuelsen
,
Machiel Lamers
,
Malte Müller
,
Bjørn Åge Hjøllo
, and
Laurent Bertino

Abstract

Previous research indicates that forecast uncertainty can, in certain formats and decision contexts, provide actionable insights that help users in their decision making. However, how to best disseminate forecast uncertainty, which factors affect successful uptake, and how forecast uncertainty transforms into better decision making remains an ongoing topic for discussion in both academic and operational contexts. Interpreting and using visualizations of forecast uncertainty are not straightforward, and choosing how to represent uncertainty in forecast products should be dependent on the specific audience in mind. We present findings from an interactive stakeholder workshop which aimed to advance context-based insights on the usability of graphical representations of forecast uncertainty in the field of maritime operations. The workshop involved participants from various maritime sectors, including cruise tourism, fisheries, government, private forecast service providers, and research/academia. Geographically situated in Norway, the workshop employed sea spray icing as a use-case for various decision scenario exercises, using both fixed probability and fixed threshold formats, supplemented with temporal ensemble diagrams. Accumulated operational expertise and characteristics of the forecast information itself, such as color coding and different forms of forecast uncertainty visualizations, were found to affect perceptions of decision-making quality. Findings can inform co-design processes of translating ensemble forecasts into usable and useful public and commercial forecast information services. The collaborative nature of the workshop facilitated knowledge sharing and co-production between forecast providers and users. Overall, the study highlights the importance of incorporating methodological approaches that consider the complex and dynamic operational contexts of ensemble-based forecast provision, communication, and use.

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Yu Yu
,
Lei Cao
,
Zhihua Ren
,
Yan Xu
,
Wei Feng
, and
Licheng Zhao

Abstract

Crowdsourced meteorological data may provide a useful supplement to operational observations. However, the willingness of various parties to share their data remains unclear. Here, a survey on data applications was carried out to investigate the willingness to participate in crowdsourcing observations. Of the 21 responses, 71% expressed difficulty in meeting the requirement of data services using only their own observations and revealed that they would be willing to exchange data with other parties under some framework; moreover, 90% expressed a willingness to participate in crowdsourcing observations. The findings suggest that in a way the social foundation of crowdsourcing has been established in China. Additionally, a case study on precipitation monitoring was performed in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province, South China. Three sources of hourly measurements were combined after data quality control and calibration and interpolated over Guangzhou (gridded precipitation was based on combined data, and it is referred to as the COM grid). Subsequently, the COM grid was compared with the grid data based only on observations from the China Meteorological Administration using three indices, namely cumulative precipitation, precipitation intensity, and heavy rain hours. The results indicate that requirement for more observations could benefit from crowdsourced data, especially on uneven terrain and in regions covered by sparse surface stations.

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Shah Md Atiqul Haq
,
Arnika Tabassum Arno
,
Shamim Al Aziz Lalin
, and
Mufti Nadimul Quamar Ahmed

Abstract

Extreme weather events linked to climate change are expected to increase in frequency in the coming years, putting the entire world at danger. Parents exert a significant influence on the lives of their children and the overall function of the family unit. However, natural disasters have a significant impact on daily life and pose an immediate danger, resulting in loss of life, injuries, and property damage. In addition, disasters can also have an impact on the responsibilities that parents play in their house. This study examines the evolving dynamics of parental roles in the context of EWEs, examining the shifting expectations and actual realities of fatherhood and motherhood. The study examines the various effects of EWEs on family structures, gender roles, and parental obligations by conducting a comprehensive review of 30 relevant articles. Our findings indicate that in severe weather conditions, men tend to adopt the position of “father” and are perceived as heroic figures, rescuers, and guardians/protectors who prioritize the well-being of their children and families, as well as take on financial obligations. On the other hand, women are often viewed as caregivers/rescuers/victims during such conditions. Moreover, in many countries, women are expected to care for other family members, including younger children and the elderly, which may limit their mobility during severe weather. Extreme weather conditions affect men and women differently, and there may also be significant differences in gender-related expectations and dimensions within a country. It is therefore essential to thoroughly study how these roles change in response to extreme weather events. We recommend conducting additional rigorous studies, both quantitative and qualitative, to comprehensively examine this relationship. This study will aid in designing initiatives aimed at fostering parenting attributes, particularly in regions susceptible to disasters.

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Zhi Li
,
Theresa Tsoodle
,
Mengye Chen
,
Shang Gao
,
Jiaqi Zhang
,
Yixin Wen
,
Tiantian Yang
,
Farina King
, and
Yang Hong

Abstract

Climate change has posed inequitable risks to different communities. Among communities of color in the United States, Native Americans stand out because 1) they desire resources to sustain resilient nations and 2) they have developed nature-based solutions through experiences with local climate-related challenges, which can provide deep insight for the whole society. Projection of climate risks for Native Americans is essential to assess future risks and support their climate-ready nations, yet there has been lack of useable information. In this study, we projected three climate hazards—heavy rainfall, 2-yr floods, and flash floods—for tribal nations in Oklahoma. To break down into tribal jurisdictions, we utilize a coupled regional climate model at 4 km and flash-flood forecast model at 1 km. A hazard–exposure–vulnerability risk framework is applied to integrate both climate and demographic changes in a high-emissions scenario. It is found that 1) Indigenous people are the most vulnerable community in Oklahoma; 2) heavy rainfall and 2-yr floods have marked increases in risks at 501.1% and 632.6%, respectively, while flash floods have a moderate increase (296.4%); 3) Native Americans bear 68.0%, 64.3%, and 64.0% higher risks in heavy rainfall, 2-yr flooding, and flash flooding, respectively, than the general population in Oklahoma; 4) in comparing climate and demographic changes, it is seen that population growth leads to greater climate hazard risks than does climate change; and 5) emerging tribal nations are projected to have 10 times as much population, resulting in great exposures to climate extremes. This study can raise awareness of the impact of climate changes and draw attention to address climate injustice issues for minoritized communities.

Significance Statement

This study examines the impact of climate change on a marginalized community—Native Americans in Oklahoma, home to 39 federally recognized tribal nations. We utilized the high-resolution climate simulation at 4-km resolution and hydrologic simulation at 1-km resolution to aggregate three climate extremes to tribal jurisdictions. We find that climate and demographic changes disproportionately put many Native Americans at risk. The heavy rainfall, 2-yr floods, and flash floods are all projected to have increased risks by 501.1%, 632.6%, and 296.4%, respectively. Those risks are 68.0%, 64.3%, and 64.0% higher than the state average for the general population, respectively. We urge proper attention to tribal nations to address climate injustice issues as a whole with the acknowledgment of their distinct relationships to their homelands as sovereign peoples.

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