Online Program

Quantitative projections of changes in heat and cold deaths due to climate change in 209 U.S. Cities

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Marcus Sarofim, PhD, Climate Change Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Joel Schwartz, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Mihye Lee, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Patrick Kinney, Columbia University, New York, NY
Suijia Yang, Columbia Climate and Health Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
David Mills, MA, Stratus Consulting Inc., Boulder, CO
Richard Jones, Stratus Consulting Inc, Boulder, CO
Richard Streeter, Stratus Consulting Inc, Boulder, CO
Alexis St. Juliana, Stratus Consulting Inc, Boulder, CO
Jennifer Peers, Stratus Consulting Inc, Boulder, CO
Radley Horton, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University
The mortality risks in the United States from extreme temperatures, both heat and cold, have been demonstrated in real life events and quantified in various research efforts. We developed city and month specific mortality relationships from 30 years of historical data for both heat and cold in 209 cities in the contiguous U.S., using a Bayesian approach to increase statistical robustness by clustering cities with similar climates. Due to an observed decrease in the sensitivity of U.S. populations to heat over time we base our final results mainly on the last decade of data. These mortality relationships were applied to two different climate model simulations to develop 21st century projections by month and city. These quantitative projections can inform both mitigation and adaptation efforts. Implications of the geographic and seasonal patterns of the results will be discussed. Challenges remain in terms of accounting for future adaptation, both planned and autonomous, as well as changes in population due to growth, migration, and changes in proportions of vulnerable populations. These results will be discussed in the context of other studies that also project future mortality in the U.S. The modeling results of the underlying study will be highlighted in the upcoming USGCRP report: Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the implications with respect to the need for public health programs to address the projected temperature attributable mortality projections for 209 US cities over the period from 2010-2100. Discussion will focus on regional variation in results and trends in results over time under alternative future climates. Identify key uncertainties in developing future heat and cold mortality projections.

Keyword(s): Climate and Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an author on a previous climate and extreme temperature mortality paper (Mills et al. 2014), I am a lead author on the climate and temperature chapter of the USGCRP report on Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, and as a senior environmental scientist in the Climate Change Division at the EPA I have been a lead on several projects involved climate change impacts on health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4412.0: Climate Change II