Can we advance individual-level heat-health research through the application of stochastic weather generators?

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From: Climatic Change(Vol. 164, Issue 1-2)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 292 words

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Abstract :

Keywords: Climate change; Extreme heat; Weather generator; Scenarios; Birth weight; Health surveys Abstract Individuals living in every region of the world are increasingly vulnerable to negative health outcomes due to extreme heat exposure. Children, in particular, may face long-term consequences associated with heat stress that affect their educational attainment and later life health and well-being. Retrospective individual-level analyses are useful for determining the effects of extreme heat exposure on health outcomes. Typically, future risk is inferred by extrapolating these effects using future warming scenarios that are applied uniformly over space and time without consideration of topographical or climatological gradients. We propose an alternative approach using a stochastic weather generator. This approach employs a 1 °C warming scenario to produce an ensemble of plausible future weather scenarios, and subsequently a distribution of future health risks. We focus on the effect of global warming on fetal development as measured by birth weight in Ethiopia. We demonstrate that predicted changes in birth weight are sensitive to the evolution of temperatures not quantified in a uniform warming scenario. Distributions of predicted changes in birth weight vary in magnitude and variability depending on geographic and socioeconomic region. We present these distributions alongside results from the uniform warming scenario and discuss the spatiotemporal variability of these predicted changes. Author Affiliation: (1) Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 50 Willey Hall, 220 19th Ave S, 55454, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2) Department of Geography, Environment, and Society, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 414 Social Sciences Building, 267 19th Ave S, 55455, Minneapolis, MN, USA (3) Climate Hazards Center, University of California Santa Barbara, 1832 Ellison Hall, 93106-4060, Santa Barbara, CA, USA (a) averdin@umn.edu Article History: Registration Date: 01/06/2021 Received Date: 03/30/2020 Accepted Date: 01/06/2021 Online Date: 01/19/2021 Byline:

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A649299599