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Atmosphere 2017, 8(7), 115; doi:10.3390/atmos8070115

Increasing Heatwave Hazards in the Southeastern European Union Capitals

1
Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council, 50145 Florence, Italy
2
Centre of Bioclimatology, University of Florence, 50121 Florence, Italy
3
Consorzio LaMMA—Laboratory of Environmental Modelling and Monitoring for a Sustainable Development, 50019 Firenze, Italy
4
Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences, University of Florence, 50144 Florence, Italy
5
Accademia dei Georgofili, 50122 Florence, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Abstract

Heatwaves (HWs) are one of the “natural” hazards with the greatest impact worldwide in terms of mortality and economic losses, and their effects may be exacerbated in large urban areas. For these reasons, more detailed analyses of urban HW trends represent a priority that cannot be neglected. In this study, HW trends were investigated during the warmest period of the year (May–September) by using a slightly improved version of the EuroHEAT HW definition applied on long meteorological time-series (36-year period, 1980–2015) collected by weather stations located in the capitals of the 28 European Union member countries. Comparisons between two 18-year sub-periods (1980–1997 vs. 1998–2015) were carried out and a city-specific HW hazard index (HWHI), accounting for the main HW characteristics, was proposed. Most of the capitals revealed significant positive trends of the majority of HW hazard characteristics and substantial HWHI increases were observed during the sub-period 1998–2015, especially in the central-eastern and southeastern cities. Conversely, minor HWHI increases were observed in most of the northern capitals and opposite situations were even observed in several northern and especially southwestern cities. The results of this study represent a support for planning urban HW-related mitigation and adaptation strategies with the priority given to the southeastern cities. View Full-Text
Keywords: heatwave trend; number of heatwaves; long heatwaves; high-intensity heatwaves; timing; urban areas; apparent temperature; GSOD heatwave trend; number of heatwaves; long heatwaves; high-intensity heatwaves; timing; urban areas; apparent temperature; GSOD
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Morabito, M.; Crisci, A.; Messeri, A.; Messeri, G.; Betti, G.; Orlandini, S.; Raschi, A.; Maracchi, G. Increasing Heatwave Hazards in the Southeastern European Union Capitals. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 115.

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