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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
Natasha Simonee, Jayko Alooloo, Natalie Ann Carter, Gita Ljubicic, and Jackie Dawson

Abstract

As Inuit hunters living in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, we (N. Simonee and J. Alooloo) travel extensively on land, water, and sea ice. Climate change, including changing sea ice and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, has made it riskier and harder for us to travel and hunt safely. Inuit knowledge supporting safe travel is also changing and is shared less between generations. We increasingly use online weather, marine, and ice products to develop locally relevant forecasts. This helps us to make decisions according to wind, waves, precipitation, visibility, sea ice conditions, and floe edge location. We apply our forecasts and share them with fellow community members to support safe travel. In this paper, we share the approach that we developed from over a decade of systematically and critically assessing forecasting products such as Windy.com, weather and marine forecasts, tide tables, C-CORE’s floe edge monitoring service, SmartICE, Zoom Earth, and time-lapse cameras. We describe the strengths and challenges we face when accessing, interpreting, and applying each product throughout different seasons. Our analysis highlights a disconnect between available products and local needs. This disconnect can be overcome by service providers adjusting services to include more seasonal and real-time information, nontechnical language, familiar units of measurement, data size proportional to internet access cost and speed, and clear relationships between weather, marine, and ice information and safe travel. Our findings have potential relevance in the circumpolar Arctic and beyond, wherever people combine Indigenous weather forecasting methods and online information for decision-making. We encourage service providers to improve product relevance and accessibility.

Open access
Victoria A. Johnson, Kimberly E. Klockow-McClain, Randy A. Peppler, and Angela M. Person

Abstract

Residents of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area are frequently threatened by tornadoes. Previous research indicates that perceptions of tornado threat affect behavioral choices when severe weather threatens and, as such, are important to study. In this paper, we examine the potential influence of tornado climatology on risk perception. Residents across central Oklahoma were surveyed about their perceptions of tornado proneness for their home location, and this was compared with the local tornado climatology. Mapping and programming tools were then used to identify relationships between respondents’ perceptions and actual tornado events. Research found that some dimensions of the climatology, such as tornado frequency, nearness, and intensity, have complex effects on risk perception. In particular, tornadoes that were intense, close, and recent had the strongest positive influence on risk perception, but weaker tornadoes appeared to produce an “inoculating” effect. Additional factors were influential, including sharp spatial discontinuities between neighboring places that were not tied to any obvious physical feature or the tornado climatology. Respondents holding lower perceptions of risk also reported lower rates of intention to prepare during tornado watches. By studying place-based perceptions, this research aims to provide a scientific basis for improved communication efforts before and during tornado events and for identifying vulnerable populations.

Open access
Y. G. Tao, F. Zhang, W. J. Liu, and C. Y. Shi

Abstract

Understanding tourists’ perceptions of climate is essential to improving tourist satisfaction and destination marketing. This paper constructs a sentiment analysis framework for tourists’ perceptions of climate using not only continuous climate data but also short-term weather data. Based on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, we found that Chinese tourists’ perceptions of climate change were at an initial stage of development. The accuracies of word segmentation between sentiment and nonsentiment words using ROST content mining (CM), BosonNLP, and GooSeeker were all high, and the three gradually decreased. The positively expressed sentences accounted for 79.80% of the entire text using ROST emotion analysis (EA), and the sentiment score was 0.784 at the intermediate level using artificial neural networks. The results indicate that the perceived emotional map is generally consistent with the actual climate and that cognitive evaluation theory is suitable to study text on climate perception.

Open access
Maria Kubacka, Maciej Matczak, Maciej Kałas, Lucjan Gajewski, and Marcin Burchacz

Abstract

Weather is a crucial factor (and the most unpredictable of all factors) determining the success or failure of any offshore activity, such as investments in seafloor grid connectors (gas, energy, or communication), development of oil and gas drilling facilities, and erection of offshore wind farms. Weather conditions cannot be foreseen accurately over a time horizon longer than a few days, and so arranging a realistic work schedule for such an enterprise poses a great challenge. This paper identifies and analyzes the greatest risks associated with weather conditions at sea. The importance and impact of weather on the project implementation are assessed and mitigating measures are proposed. As part of the work, a review of scientific literature was conducted, and the core conclusions were reached using information-gathering techniques and a documentation review of the offshore projects implemented in cooperation with the Maritime Institute. The authors based their analysis on experience from survey campaigns conducted in the Baltic Sea in the areas of the investments planned for implementation. The analysis of risks associated with weather conditions is based on the statistical weather data obtained using the Wave Ocean Model cycle 4 (WAM4). The research reveals that it is impossible to create an accurate survey schedule for long-term offshore projects; however, using statistics for each individual hydrodynamic parameter can, to some extent, facilitate the creation of survey schedules for maritime projects.

Open access
Torbjørn Selseng, Marit Klemetsen, and Tone Rusdal

Abstract

In recent decades there has been a surge in the scholarship on climate change adaptation (CCA) terminology, and diverging interpretations of the term have emerged. Given the crucial role of local governments in building societywide adaptive capacity, understanding how municipalities understand and interpret CCA is important. In this study, we analyze 12 large-scale questionnaires from 2007 to 2020 distributed to all Norwegian municipalities. Using a combination of directed and conventional content analysis of the questions and answers, we summarize and map the progress of adaptation work over the 14 years and assess the consistency and the scope of the surveys in light of the current research on climate adaptation. We find diverging views on what adaptation entails, both from the researchers, in the phrasing of questions, and from the respondents. The empirical evidence suggests an overall imbalanced interpretation of CCA, in terms of the risks and consequences we may face, the climate to which adapting is needed, and adequate adaptation strategies. We go on to discuss the implications of these findings, highlighting the need for a shared and well-communicated framework for local CCA and a closer monitoring of the actual efforts of the municipalities. If instead left unchecked, this confusion might lead to unsustainable maladaptation at the local government level throughout Norway and beyond.

Open access
Alexander J. Ross, Ryan C. Grow, Lauren D. Hayhurst, Haley A. MacLeod, Graydon I. McKee, Kyle W. Stratton, Marissa E. Wegher, and Michael D. Rennie

Abstract

Groundhog Day is a widespread North American ritual that marks the onset of spring, with festivities centered around animals that humans believe have abilities to make seasonal predictions. Yet, the collective success of groundhog Marmota monax prognosticators has never been rigorously tested. Here, we propose the local climate-predicted phenology of early blooming spring plants (Carolina spring beauty, or Claytonia caroliniana, which overlaps in native range with groundhogs) as a novel and relevant descriptor of spring onset that can be applied comparatively across a broad geographical range. Of 530 unique groundhog-year predictions across 33 different locations, spring onset was correctly predicted by groundhogs exactly 50% of the time. While no singular groundhog predicted the timing of spring with any statistical significance, there were a handful of groundhogs with notable records of both successful and unsuccessful predictions: Essex Ed (Essex, Connecticut), Stonewall Jackson (Wantage, New Jersey), and Chuckles (Manchester, Connecticut) correctly predicted spring onset over 70% of the time. By contrast, Buckeye Chuck (Marion, Ohio), Dunkirk Dave (Dunkirk, New York), and Holland Huckleberry (Holland, Ohio) made incorrect predictions over 70% of the time. The two most widely recognized and long-tenured groundhogs in their respective countries—Wiarton Willie (Canada) and Punxsutawney Phil (United States)—had success rates of 54% and 52%, respectively, despite over 150 collective guesses. Using a novel phenological indicator of spring, this study determined, without a shadow of a doubt, that groundhog prognosticating abilities for the arrival of spring are no better than chance.

Open access
K. Fagiewicz, P. Churski, T. Herodowicz, P. Kaczmarek, P. Lupa, J. Morawska-Jancelewicz, and A. Mizgajski

Abstract

This study determines the conditions and provides a recommendation for fostering cocreation for climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCA&M). In postulating that insufficient cocreation by stakeholders in the quadruple helix model is an important factor contributing to the low effectiveness of climate actions in the regions, we have focused our research on identifying real stakeholder engagement in climate action and identifying the needs, barriers, and drivers for strengthening the cocreation process. We identified the needs for action highlighted by stakeholders as having an impact on reducing barriers and stimulating drivers. We treated the identified needs for action as deep leverage points (intent and design) focused on three realms—knowledge, values, and institutions—in which engagement and cocreation can be strengthened and have the potential to increase the effectiveness of climate action taken by stakeholders within our quadruple helix. We recommend knowledge-based cocreation, which puts the importance of climate action in the value system and leads to paradigm reevaluation. The implementation of the identified needs for action requires the support of institutions, whereby they develop standards of cooperation and mechanisms for their implementation as a sustainable framework for stakeholder cooperation. The research has proved how the quadruple helix operates for climate action in the Poznań Agglomeration. We believe that this case study can be a reference point for regions at a similar level of development, and the methods used and results obtained can be applied in similar real contexts to foster local stakeholders in climate action.

Open access