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Special Issue "Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2020) | Viewed by 44304

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Marie S. O'Neill
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Michigan School of Public Health, Departments of Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology, Ann Arbor, United States
Interests: cardiovascular mechanisms for air pollution health effects; climate change, weather, and health; environmental equity and susceptible populations; environmental exposure assessment; air pollution, temperature, and health in Latin American cities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change is a reality in our modern world, and we have already seen changes in long-term weather patterns, in the integrity of our eco-systems, the occurrence of extreme weather events and resultant flooding and displacement, wildfires, and other climate-related phenomena that affect our lives, health, and well-being. A growing body of literature documents the effects of these changes on human populations and the earth that sustains us, and ways that public health, environmental, planning, and other policies can help us adapt to the “new normal” and adopt more sustainable practices for the benefit of future generations.

This Special Issue aims to present contributions on climate change adaptation and risk reduction. We encourage contributions that address health effects related to climate change, including water-, vector-, and food-borne diseases, heat- and cold-related health outcomes, mental health consequences of climate-related disasters, displacement and changing abilities to earn a livelihood due to drought, ecosystem changes, and other systemic changes. Articles should address interventions and adaptation strategies to reduce these health consequences and reduce risks. Analysis of historical data as well as projections of future impacts given various scenarios are both welcomed. Research conducted in partnership with affected communities that highlights inequities and disproportionate risks, as well as offers examples of effective strategies to adapt, prevent health effects, and foster sustainability, is encouraged.

Dr. Marie S. O'Neill
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 2500 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

  • climate change
  • health effects
  • adaptation
  • community-based research
  • sustainability

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Article
Assessment of Agricultural Drought Risk in the Lancang-Mekong Region, South East Asia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176153 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3554
Abstract
Natural disasters worldwide regularly impact on human activities. As a frequently occurring natural disaster, drought has adverse impacts on agricultural production. The Lancang-Mekong River is a transnational river running through China and five Southeast Asian countries and it is a vital water resource [...] Read more.
Natural disasters worldwide regularly impact on human activities. As a frequently occurring natural disaster, drought has adverse impacts on agricultural production. The Lancang-Mekong River is a transnational river running through China and five Southeast Asian countries and it is a vital water resource for irrigation in the region. Drought in the Lancang-Mekong Region (LMR) has occurred frequently in recent years. Assessing the risk of drought in the region is essential for rational planning of agricultural production and formulation of drought relief measures. In this study, an assessment of drought risk has been achieved by combining the hazard and vulnerability assessments for drought. The assessment of the drought hazard depends mainly on the standardized precipitation index (SPI). The assessment of drought vulnerability takes into account various indicators such as climatic factors (e.g., crop water stress index), soil factors (e.g., available water capacity), and irrigation factors (e.g., irrigation support). The results reveal that: (1) Drought distribution in the LMR is characterized by a spreading of the drought to countries along the middle and lower reaches of the Mekong River. Countries located in the middle and lower reaches of the Mekong River are more prone to drought. Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia are the regions with higher and high-drought risk levels. (2) The spatial distributions for the drought hazard and the drought vulnerability in the LMR exhibit significant differences as evidenced in the mapping results. High-hazard and high-vulnerability areas are mainly distributed in the middle LMR, and the middle to higher hazard areas and the middle to higher vulnerability areas are mainly distributed in the south-central LMR, while the low-hazard areas and the low-vulnerability areas are mainly in the north. (3) The majority of planting areas for sugarcane, rice, and cassava are located in the high-hazard areas. The distributions of drought-prone and high-hazard areas also correspond to the main agricultural areas in the LMR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Heat-Related Illness Is Associated with Lack of Air Conditioning and Pre-Existing Health Problems in Detroit, Michigan, USA: A Community-Based Participatory Co-Analysis of Survey Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5704; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165704 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
The objective of the study was to investigate, using academic-community epidemiologic co-analysis, the odds of reported heat-related illness for people with (1) central air conditioning (AC) or window unit AC versus no AC, and (2) fair/poor vs. good/excellent reported health. From 2016 to [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to investigate, using academic-community epidemiologic co-analysis, the odds of reported heat-related illness for people with (1) central air conditioning (AC) or window unit AC versus no AC, and (2) fair/poor vs. good/excellent reported health. From 2016 to 2017, 101 Detroit residents were surveyed once regarding extreme heat, housing and neighborhood features, and heat-related illness in the prior 5 years. Academic partners selected initial confounders and, after instruction on directed acyclic graphs, community partners proposed alternate directed acyclic graphs with additional confounders. Heat-related illness was regressed on AC type or health and co-selected confounders. The study found that heat-related illness was associated with no-AC (n = 96, odds ratio (OR) = 4.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.22, 17.72); living ≤5 years in present home (n = 57, OR = 10.39, 95% CI = 1.13, 95.88); and fair/poor vs. good/excellent health (n = 97, OR = 3.15, 95% CI = 1.33, 7.48). Co-analysis suggested multiple built-environment confounders. We conclude that Detroit residents with poorer health and no AC are at greater risk during extreme heat. Academic-community co-analysis using directed acyclic graphs enhances research on community-specific social and health vulnerabilities by identifying key confounders and future research directions for rigorous and impactful research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Modeling Adaptation Strategies against Climate Change Impacts in Integrated Rice-Wheat Agricultural Production System of Pakistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072522 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3567
Abstract
There are numerous anticipated effects of climate change (CC) on agriculture in the developing and the developed world. Pakistan is among the top ten most prone nations to CC in the world. The objective of this analysis was to quantify the economic impacts [...] Read more.
There are numerous anticipated effects of climate change (CC) on agriculture in the developing and the developed world. Pakistan is among the top ten most prone nations to CC in the world. The objective of this analysis was to quantify the economic impacts of CC on the agricultural production system and to quantify the impacts of suggested adaptation strategies at the farm level. The study was conducted in the Punjab province’s rice-wheat cropping system. For this purpose, climate modeling was carried out by using two representative concentration pathways (RCPs), i.e., RCPs 4.5 and 8.5, and five global circulation models (GCMs). The crop modeling was carried out by using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) and the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop simulation models (CSMs), which were tested on the cross-sectional data of 217 farm households collected from the seven strata in the study area. The socio-economic impacts were calculated using the Multidimensional Impact Assessment Tradeoff Analysis Model (TOA-MD). The results revealed that CC’s net economic impact using both RCPs and CSMs was negative. In both CSMs, the poverty status was higher in RCP 8.5 than in RCP 4.5. The adaptation package showed positive results in poverty reduction and improvement in the livelihood conditions of the agricultural households. The adoption rate for DSSAT was about 78%, and for APSIM, it was about 68%. The adaptation benefits observed in DSSAT were higher than in APSIM. The results showed that the suggested adaptations could have a significant impact on the resilience of the atmospheric changes. Therefore, without these adaptation measures, i.e., increase in sowing density, improved cultivars, increase in nitrogen use, and fertigation, there would be negative impacts of CC that would capitalize on livelihood and food security in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Climate Change as an Involuntary Exposure: A Comparative Risk Perception Study from Six Countries across the Global Development Gradient
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061894 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2919
Abstract
Climate change has been referred to as an involuntary exposure, meaning people do not voluntarily put themselves at risk for climate-related ill health or reduced standard of living. The purpose of this study is to examine people’s risk perceptions and related beliefs regarding [...] Read more.
Climate change has been referred to as an involuntary exposure, meaning people do not voluntarily put themselves at risk for climate-related ill health or reduced standard of living. The purpose of this study is to examine people’s risk perceptions and related beliefs regarding (1) the likelihood of different risks occurring at different times and places and (2) collective (government) responsibility and personal efficacy in dealing with climate change, as well as (3) explore the ways in which climate risk may be amplified when posed against individual health and well-being. Previous research on this topic has largely focused on one community or one nation state, and so a unique characteristic of this study is the comparison between six different city (country) sites by their development and national wealth. Here, we collected 401 surveys from Phoenix (USA), Brisbane (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand), Shanghai (China), Viti Levu (Fiji), and Mexico City (Mexico). Results suggest that the hyperopia effect characterized the sample from each study site but was more pronounced in developed sites, suggesting that the more developed sites employ a broader perspective when approaching ways to mitigate their risk against climate-related health and well-being impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
Article
A Comparative Study of the Physiological and Socio-Economic Vulnerabilities to Heat Waves of the Population of the Metropolis of Lyon (France) in a Climate Change Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031004 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3565
Abstract
Increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves are direct consequences of global climate change with a higher risk for urban populations due to the urban heat island effect. Reducing urban overheating is a priority, as is identifying the most vulnerable people [...] Read more.
Increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves are direct consequences of global climate change with a higher risk for urban populations due to the urban heat island effect. Reducing urban overheating is a priority, as is identifying the most vulnerable people to establish targeted and coordinated public health policies. There are many ways of understanding the concept of vulnerability and multiple definitions and applications exist in the literature. To date, however, nothing has been done on the territory of this study, the metropolis of Lyon (France). The objective is thus to construct two vulnerability indices: physiological, focusing on the organism’s capacities to respond to heat waves; and socio-economic, based on the social and economic characteristics and capacities of the community. To this end, two complementary methodologies have been implemented: the AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) and the PCA (Principal Component Analysis) with Varimax rotation, respectively. The results were then spatialized to the smallest demographic census unit in France. The areas highlighted differed due to conceptual and methodological differences: the highest physiological vulnerabilities are in the center while the socio-economic ones are in the eastern periphery of the urban area. The location of these areas will enable prevention campaigns to be carried out, targeted according to the publics concerned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Predictors Associated with Health-Related Heat Risk Perception of Urban Citizens in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030874 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3156
Abstract
The rising probability of extremely high temperatures and an increasing number of consecutive hot days caused by climate change—combined with the impact of these high temperatures on human health—is widely discussed in the literature. There are calls for the development of heatwave adaptation [...] Read more.
The rising probability of extremely high temperatures and an increasing number of consecutive hot days caused by climate change—combined with the impact of these high temperatures on human health—is widely discussed in the literature. There are calls for the development of heatwave adaptation measures by governmental and scientific institutions. In this research, the predictors of health-related heat risk perception of urban citizens in Augsburg, Germany, were investigated. An online survey was conducted with 468 citizens, asking about their heat risk perception, knowledge about heat risks, and demographic data and health information. Statistical methods (Spearman correlation, unpaired t-test, ANOVA and multiple regression) were used to determine which factors were significant and relevant. The results show that the knowledge of heat risks, heat risk sensitivity and an external locus of control are the most important factors for heat risk perception. The health implication score and chronic disease show significant effects in descriptive statistics. Furthermore, younger people showed the highest heat risk perception of all age groups. Surprisingly, income, education, living alone and gender did not play a role in heat risk perception. The findings imply a need for better and intensified heat risk communication in urban areas—especially among elderly people—and thus are important for creating acceptance towards heat wave risks, which is a prerequisite of willingness to adapt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
Article
Farmers’ Risk Cognition, Risk Preferences and Climate Change Adaptive Behavior: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010085 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2538
Abstract
Improving local farmers′ climate change adaptive capacity is an important policy issue in rural China. This study investigates farmers′ risk cognition, risk preferences and climate change adaptive behavior. Based on unique data from a survey and a paired lottery experiment completed by 240 [...] Read more.
Improving local farmers′ climate change adaptive capacity is an important policy issue in rural China. This study investigates farmers′ risk cognition, risk preferences and climate change adaptive behavior. Based on unique data from a survey and a paired lottery experiment completed by 240 rural farmers in Chongqing City of China, this paper finds that farmers have a pessimistic risk cognition towards climate change and the typical farmers are risk-averse and loss-averse. Risk cognition and adaptation cognition have significantly positive influences on climate change adaptive behavior, and loss aversion has a significantly positive influence on farmers′ adaptation decisions. Loss aversion exerts a positive impact on risk cognition and adaptation cognition, and risk aversion has a positive impact on adaptation cognition. This paper contributes to the emerging literature that relates risk preference in experiments and risk cognition to farmers′ climate change adaptive behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Climate-Driven Adaptation, Household Capital, and Nutritional Outcomes among Farmers in Eswatini
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214063 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2190
Abstract
Globally, communities are increasingly impacted by the stressors of climate change. In response, people may adapt to maintain their livelihoods and overall health and nutrition. However, the relationship between climate adaptation and human nutrition is poorly understood and results of adaptation are often [...] Read more.
Globally, communities are increasingly impacted by the stressors of climate change. In response, people may adapt to maintain their livelihoods and overall health and nutrition. However, the relationship between climate adaptation and human nutrition is poorly understood and results of adaptation are often unclear. We investigated the relationship between adaptation and child nutrition, in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) during an extreme drought. Households varied in both adaptation behavior and household resources and we found that, overall, households that adapted had better child nutrition than those that didn’t adapt. When controlling for the influence of household capital, we found that more vulnerable households, those with greater dependence on natural resources and lower income, had a stronger positive relationship between adaptation and nutrition than less vulnerable households. We also found that some adaptations had stronger positive relationships with nutrition than others. In our system, the adaptation that most strongly correlated with improved nutrition, selling chickens, most likely benefits from local social networksand consistent demand, and performed better than other adaptations. Our results emphasize the need to measure adaptation outcomes and identify and support the types of adaptations are most likely to improve nutrition in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Dairy Production under Climatic Risks: Perception, Perceived Impacts and Adaptations in Punjab, Pakistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 4036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16204036 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4763
Abstract
The changing climatic conditions coupled with fodder availability have posed severe challenges and threats for the dairy sector in Pakistan. The current paper determines the influence of climate change on the dairy sector in Pakistan. Comprehensive data set was collected from 450 farmers. [...] Read more.
The changing climatic conditions coupled with fodder availability have posed severe challenges and threats for the dairy sector in Pakistan. The current paper determines the influence of climate change on the dairy sector in Pakistan. Comprehensive data set was collected from 450 farmers. The majority of farmers experienced the climate change and its variability and explained that severity and frequency of climatic extreme events such as droughts, heat waves, floods, pests and diseases and humidity is increasing. The study found that farmers considered drought as one of the major climatic risks which severely affects all aspects of dairy production. Specifically, to estimate the perceived impacts of climatic extreme event on milk production, an ordered probit model was applied and identified that climate change had high adverse impact on milk quantity in the study area. Different adaptation practices, such as changing cropping pattern for fodder production, off-farm income activities, diversifying the farm and regular vaccination are mostly used by dairy farmers. The study recommends policy initiatives to be taken by government for long term developments in the dairy farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Understanding the Operational Concept of a Flood-Resilient Urban Community in Jakarta, Indonesia, from the Perspectives of Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Development Agencies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203993 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4643
Abstract
Climate change-related extreme events such as floods have and will continue to present a great challenge to disaster risk management. There is a pressing need to develop a robust management strategy via enhancing the resiliency of the community, particularly in the context of [...] Read more.
Climate change-related extreme events such as floods have and will continue to present a great challenge to disaster risk management. There is a pressing need to develop a robust management strategy via enhancing the resiliency of the community, particularly in the context of complex urban environments, like Jakarta. Resilience is conceptualized within specific contexts and uniquely tailored to the targeted setting, yet research regarding the operational concept of a flood-resilient community in the context of Jakarta remains limited. This paper will elaborate this operational concept through understanding the desirable features and influential barriers of a flood-resilient community through the lenses of three main stakeholder groups: disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA), and development. It will also discuss the ways in which the synergies that exist across these groups can be enhanced. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were applied in this study, and multiple sources of data were used. The findings indicate that these groups share common views regarding the importance of human aspects being central to resilience building efforts. We argue there is an urgent need to shift the flood resilience building paradigm towards building community resilience from the people and to apply a collaborative governance approach to facilitate effective partnership between the actors involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Acute Myocardial Infarction Hospitalizations between Cold and Hot Seasons in an Island across Tropical and Subtropical Climate Zones—A Population-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152769 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3062
Abstract
We investigated the effects of cold and hot seasons on hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) at the junction of tropical and subtropical climate zones. The hospitalization data of 6897 AMI patients from January 1997 to December 2011 were obtained from the [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of cold and hot seasons on hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) at the junction of tropical and subtropical climate zones. The hospitalization data of 6897 AMI patients from January 1997 to December 2011 were obtained from the database of the National Health Insurance, including date of admission, gender, age, and comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), and dyslipidemia. A comparison of AMI prevalence between seasons and the association of season-related AMI occurrences with individual variables were assessed. AMI hospitalizations in the cold season (cold-season-AMIs) were significantly greater than those in the hot season (OR 1.15; 95% CI 1.10–1.21). In the subtropical region, cold-season-AMIs were strongly and significantly associated with the ≥65 years group (OR1.28; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.48). In the tropical region, cold-season-AMIs, in association with dyslipidemia relative to non-dyslipidemia, were significantly strong in the non-DM group (OR 1.45; 95% CI 1.01 to 2.09) but weak in the DM group (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.55 to 0.99). The cold season shows increased risks for AMI, markedly among the ≥65 years cohort in the subtropical region, and among the patients diagnosed with either DM or dyslipidemia but not both in the tropical region. Age and comorbidity of metabolic dysfunction influence the season-related incidences of AMI in different climatic regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Article
Adaptation and Health: Are Countries with More Climate-Sensitive Health Sectors More Likely to Receive Adaptation Aid?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081353 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2560
Abstract
Climate change poses a severe challenge for many developing countries, and the need to adapt has been widely recognized. Public health is one of the sectors where adaptation is necessary, as a warming climate likely affects general health conditions, the spread of various [...] Read more.
Climate change poses a severe challenge for many developing countries, and the need to adapt has been widely recognized. Public health is one of the sectors where adaptation is necessary, as a warming climate likely affects general health conditions, the spread of various diseases, etc. Some countries are more affected by such climatic challenges, as their climate sensitivity—both to health-related issues and to climate change in general—is higher. This study examines whether more climate-sensitive countries are more likely to receive support from donors through the relatively new channel of adaptation aid, with a particular focus on the health sector. To investigate this relationship, this study proposes and operationalizes a new indicator to capture climate sensitivity of countries’ health sectors. The results, however, indicate that climate sensitivity does not matter for adaptation aid allocation. Instead, adaptation aid to a large degree follows development aid. In light of the promises repeatedly made by donors in the climate negotiations that adaptation aid should go to the most vulnerable, developing countries should push for a different allocation mechanism of adaptation aid in future negotiation rounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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Case Report
The Three Little Houses: A Comparative Study of Indoor and Ambient Temperatures in Three Low-Cost Housing Types in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103524 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4851
Abstract
Low-cost houses make up the majority of the homes in townships (racially segregated areas which are usually underdeveloped) in South Africa and there has been limited research on the indoor temperatures experienced by residents of these homes. As a developing nation the price [...] Read more.
Low-cost houses make up the majority of the homes in townships (racially segregated areas which are usually underdeveloped) in South Africa and there has been limited research on the indoor temperatures experienced by residents of these homes. As a developing nation the price and availability of construction materials, often takes precedence over the potential thermal efficiency of the house. Occupants of low-cost houses are particularly vulnerable to climatic changes which may increase the likelihood of exposure to extreme temperatures in South Africa. This study focused on the relationship between indoor and ambient temperature in two study areas namely; Kathorus in Gauteng and Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga. Three housing types were included in the study (government funded apartheid era houses, government funded post-apartheid houses and informal houses (shacks)). Temperature data loggers were installed in each home, in each area, from June 2017 to July 2018. Ambient temperature data were collected for the period June 2017 to July 2018. The houses studied were built with different materials which affect their thermal efficiency. The study also included semi-structured interviews where occupant’s perspectives on housing could be surveyed. Household temperatures in Kathorus and Wakkerstroom, both in the warmer and colder months fluctuated substantially throughout the day. There was an 8 °C, 9 °C and 14 °C fluctuations in daily indoor temperatures of apartheid-era, post-apartheid and shacks houses, and daily outdoor fluctuations of 5–15 °C, with higher fluctuations measured in Wakkerstroom. Generally, ambient and indoor temperatures were correlated but showed high variability. Indoor data for the winter months were less well correlated. Data showed that residents are subjected to extreme temperatures and these are expected to increase. The householder’s perceptions of thermal comfort were often not related to indoor temperature readings but to behavioural changes including the use of warm clothes and wood burning stoves. The study’s findings suggest that a majority of low-cost houses are thermally inefficient especially for those built in the post-apartheid era and shacks. With these houses showing a clear link between ambient and indoor temperature fluctuations. The occupants of these homes are poor and vulnerable to health risks which could be exacerbated by temperature fluctuations. Small changes such as installation of ceilings and use of insulation could make a large difference in these houses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
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