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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1467; doi:10.3390/su9081467

Heatstroke Risk Predictions for Current and Near-Future Summers in Sendai, Japan, Based on Mesoscale WRF Simulations

1
Department of Architecture and Building Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
2
Department of Architecture and Building Engineering, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama 226-8502, Japan
3
Department of Geography, College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto 603-8577, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Abstract

The incidence of heatstroke has been increasing in Japan, and future climate change is likely to increase heatstroke risk. We therefore developed a method to quantify the spatial distribution of outdoor heatstroke risk and predicted future changes in this risk considering the predicted climate change in Sendai, Japan. Heatstroke risk was quantified by assessing hazard, vulnerability and exposure. Daily maximum wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) was selected as the hazard index. The distribution of WBGT was predicted by mesoscale meteorological simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The relationship between daily maximum WBGT and the daily incidence rate was approximated by analyzing emergency transport data. This relationship was selected as the vulnerability index. Using the hazard and vulnerability indices, a spatial distribution of the monthly incidence rate was obtained. Finally, the total number of heatstroke patients per month was estimated by multiplying the monthly incidence rate by the population density. The outdoor heatstroke risk for August was then estimated for current (2000s) and near-future (2030s) climatic conditions in Sendai. WBGT at coastal areas in the 2030s increased owing to increases in humidity, while WBGT at inland areas increased owing to increases in air temperature. This increase in WBGT drove increases in heatstroke risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: heatstroke risk; wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT); Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model; global climate model; future prediction; climate change; Sendai heatstroke risk; wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT); Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model; global climate model; future prediction; climate change; Sendai
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kasai, M.; Okaze, T.; Mochida, A.; Hanaoka, K. Heatstroke Risk Predictions for Current and Near-Future Summers in Sendai, Japan, Based on Mesoscale WRF Simulations. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1467.

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