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Heat Island Effect Portal

This website provides information on the heat island effect, its impacts, and the strategies that communities can take to reduce urban temperatures. Look under the "Where You Live" section to see specific strategies and initiatives implemented by states and localities. Strategies fall into four primary categories: cool roofs, cool pavement, green roofs, and urban landscaping. Initiatives are specific policy mechanisms, such as building codes, comprehensive plans, demonstration projects, incentives, landscape ordinances, state implementation plans, and zoning codes.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Adaptation Websites

 

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2014 Heatwave Business Impacts, City of Melbourne, Australia

March 24, 2014

The City of Melbourne, Australia conducted this study to get an understanding of the perceived impacts of a 2014 heatwave on the Melbourne business community. Melbourne has experienced several extreme heatwaves in recent years and climate projections show an increase in heatwaves in the future. This is a unique study because most research has been related to impacts of urban heat on the personal health of individuals, rather than impacts to businesses. 

Related Organizations: City of Melbourne, Australia

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Climate and Health - Understanding the Risk: An Assessment of San Francisco’s Vulnerability to Extreme Heat Events

2013

The San Francisco Department of Public Health was awarded funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an environmental health assessment of vulnerability to heat waves and air quality. This report provides an overview of the health department’s study of heat distribution, and predictions of neighborhoods that are especially vulnerable to extreme heat in San Francisco, California. The assessment will inform climate change adaptation planning efforts including a heat wave disaster response plan.

Related Organizations: San Francisco Department of Public Health

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Great 2006 Heat Wave Over California and Nevada: Signal of an Increasing Trend

December 1, 2009

The July 2006 western heat wave is studied in the context of the region's climate over the past six decades. The study explores the possible connections between a heat wave trend and global warming and details the increased human health and ecosystems risks of night time extreme heat events. The authors describe the climatic behavior and regional causes of great heat waves over California and Nevada, and use this foundation to investigate whether and to what extent the 2006 event may be considered an aberration or a manifestation of a long term climatic change.

Related Organizations: California-Nevada Applications Program (CNAP) - RISA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Authors or Affiliated Users: Alexander Gershunov, Danial R. Cayan, Sam F. Iacobellis

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Socioeconomic indicators of heat-related health risk supplemented with remotely sensed data

October 16, 2009

This study evaluates a potential method for determining localized risk from extreme heat events (EHEs) in urban environments by integrating socio-demographic risk factors with estimates of land surface temperature.  Methods that provide more spatially specific information may better inform planning and intervention in areas where increased prevalence of heat-related illness and EHEs are likely to occur.

Related Organizations: International Journal of Health Geographics

Authors or Affiliated Users: Daniel P. Johnson, Jeffrey S. Wilson, George C. Luber

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Adapting to Climate Change: Public Health

June 2009

This issue brief shares results from a climate adaptation research project conducted by Resources for the Future (RFF). The report describes the projected health consequences of climate change impacts, and offers strategies to mitigate some of these adverse effects on public health. 

Related Organizations: Resources for the Future (RFF)

Author or Affiliated User: Jonathan M. Samet

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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The Heat is On: Climate Change and Heatwaves in the Midwest

December 2007

This paper from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) reviews the projected intensity and frequency of heat waves in the Midwestern United States for the 21st century, potential public health ramifications and related adaptation options. It is one of four case studies in an overall report, "Regional Impacts of Climate Change: Four Case Studies in the United States," that examines the impacts of particular interest to different regions of the U.

Related Organizations: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), The Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kris Ebi, Gerald A. Meehl

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Killer Heat in the United States

July 2019

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has evaluated how climate change will contribute to increasing incidence of dangerous high heat days across the U. S. This includes an analysis of the growing number of high heat days across various regions of the country, described under three climate change scenarios. The report also details the public health consequences of extreme heat and the populations that are particularly vulnerable to these threats. Policy recommendations are offered with adaptation measures that can be implemented at all levels of government to address rising temperatures.

Related Organizations: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kristina Dahl, Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Rachel Licker, Astrid Caldas, John Abatzoglou, Nicholas Mailloux, Rachel Cleetus, Shana Udvardy, Juan Declet-Barreto, Pamela Worth

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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California Heat Assessment Tool (CHAT)

2019

The California Heat Assessment Tool (CHAT) was developed to help state and local public health officials understand how heat vulnerability will change with increasing temperatures due to climate change. The tool helps users identify heat vulnerable areas based upon changes in high heat days under different climate scenarios and social, health and environmental vulnerability factors. The study defines "Heat Health Events" (HHEs) as heat events that cause negative public health impacts - and the study found that vulnerable groups may be more sensitive to high-heat days by as much as 6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to the general population.

Related Organizations: California Natural Resources Agency, Four Twenty Seven

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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NYSERDA - Population Vulnerability to Climate Change in New York State

October 2017

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) identified current and future vulnerability to extreme heat across New York State, focusing on community and individual health risk factors.  A heat-vulnerability index was developed, and a heat-health impact assessment was conducted using ClimAID climate projections.  The study included an assessment of the adequacy and accessibility of cooling centers, and the public’s awareness of cooling centers and heat warning systems or adaptation resources across New York.

Related Organizations: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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