Special Issue "Changes in Heatwaves – Past, Present and Future"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick
Website
Guest Editor
Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), UNSW Australia, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: heatwaves; climate extremes; internal climate variability; detection and attribution; observations; climate projections; climate models; health impacts of heatwaves; mechanisims of heatwaves

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heatwaves are a special case of extreme temperature events, defined as prolonged periods of excessive heat. It is clear that increasing global temperatures due to anthropogenic climate change have, and will continue to, force an increase in the intensity, frequency of heatwaves. However, heatwaves are complex events for many reasons. Firstly, they are characterised by multiple measurements, inclusive of intensity, frequency, duration, spatial extent and seasonal timing. Secondly, there is a plethora of ways in which to measure heatwaves, subjectively governed by the interests of those undertaking a given study. Thirdly, while the general physical mechanisms that drive heatwaves are broadly similar, there is devil in the detail at regional and local scales. Following from this, uncertainties exist among physical climate models on the relative contribution of certain physical mechanisms in heatwave manifestation, and particularly how they may change in the future. Lastly, as a community, we have not even begun to scratch the surface on how changes in heatwaves will alter the wide range of systems they impact, and the overall risk impose. Such systems include, but are not limited to human health, ecosystem structure and diversity and public infrastructure.

While the climate and impacts communities have made some important discoveries on heatwaves and their changes over the last decade, we still have a lot more research to do. Therefore, I invite you to contribute to this exciting and progressing field, and continue the dialogue on how heatwaves are changing, why this is so, and who or what will be most affected.

Dr. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Regional and local heatwaves
  • Small and large-scale interactions
  • Observed events
  • Future projections
  • Measuring heatwaves
  • Addressing uncertainty in future projections
  • Understanding impacts of heatwaves
  • Physical mechanisms of heatwaves
  • Risk and exposure
  • Attribution to natural and anthropogenic processes

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Regional Temperature Response in Central Asia to National Committed Emission Reductions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152661 - 25 Jul 2019
Abstract
National committed greenhouse gas emission reduction actions are the center of the Paris Agreement, and are known as ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDC) that aim to slow down global warming. The climate response to INDC emission reduction is a focus in climate change [...] Read more.
National committed greenhouse gas emission reduction actions are the center of the Paris Agreement, and are known as ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDC) that aim to slow down global warming. The climate response to INDC emission reduction is a focus in climate change science. In this study, data from 32 global climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) were applied to investigate the changes in the mean and extreme high temperatures in Central Asia (CA) under the INDC scenario above the present-day level. The results show that the magnitude of warming in CA is remarkably higher than the global mean. Almost all the regions in CA will experience more intense, more frequent, and longer-lasting extreme high-temperature events. In comparison with the INDC scenario, the reduced warming of the 2.0 °C/1.5 °C target scenarios will help avoid approximately 44–61%/65–80% of the increase in extreme temperature events in terms of the intensity, frequency, and duration in CA. These results contribute to an improved understanding of the benefits of limiting global warming to the 2.0 °C/1.5 °C targets, which is paramount for mitigation and adaptation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes in Heatwaves – Past, Present and Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Global Heat Wave Hazard Considering Humidity Effects during the 21st Century
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091513 - 29 Apr 2019
Abstract
Humidity is a significant factor contributing to heat stress, but without enough consideration in studies of quantifying heat hazard or heat risk assessment. Here, the simplified wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) considering joint effects of temperature and humidity was utilized as a heat index [...] Read more.
Humidity is a significant factor contributing to heat stress, but without enough consideration in studies of quantifying heat hazard or heat risk assessment. Here, the simplified wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) considering joint effects of temperature and humidity was utilized as a heat index and the number of annual total heat wave days (HWDs) was employed to quantify heat hazard. In order to evaluate the humidity effects on heat waves, we quantified the difference in the number of HWDs over global land based on air temperature and WBGT. Spatial and temporal changes in surface air temperature, relative humidity, WBGT, and the difference in HWDs were analyzed using multi-model simulations for the reference period (1986–2005) and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Our analysis suggests that annual mean WBGT has been increasing since 1986, which is consistent with the rising trend in surface air temperature despite a slight decrease in relative humidity. Additionally, changes in annual mean WBGT are smaller and more spatially uniform than those in annual mean air temperature as a cancelation effect between temperature and water vapor. Results show that there is an underestimation of around 40–140 days in the number of HWDs per year in most regions within 15° latitude of the equator (the humid and warm tropics) during 2076–2095 without considering humidity effects. However, the estimation of HWDs has limited distinction between using WBGT and temperature alone in arid or cold regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes in Heatwaves – Past, Present and Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Mining Social Media to Identify Heat Waves
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050762 - 02 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Heat waves are one of the deadliest of natural hazards and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate continues to warm. A challenge in studying these phenomena is the lack of a universally accepted quantitative definition that captures both temperature [...] Read more.
Heat waves are one of the deadliest of natural hazards and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate continues to warm. A challenge in studying these phenomena is the lack of a universally accepted quantitative definition that captures both temperature anomalies and associated mortality. We test the hypothesis that social media mining can be used to identify heat wave mortality. Applying the approach to India, we find that the number of heat-related tweets correlates with heat-related mortality much better than traditional climate-based indicators, especially at larger scales, which identify many heat wave days that do not lead to excess mortality. We conclude that social media based heat wave identification can complement climatic data and can be used to: (1) study heat wave impacts at large scales or in developing countries, where mortality data are difficult to obtain and uncertain, and (2) to track dangerous heat wave events in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes in Heatwaves – Past, Present and Future)
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