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Background information

Context A health-related heatwave is a prolonged period of extremely high temperature and humidity for a particular region during which daily minima and maxima both exceed thresholds. Heatwaves with high humidity are problematic for human health and well-being.

Definition The annual number of heatwave days is based on the heatwave definition used by the health community. A health-related heatwave is considered to be a period of at least 2 consecutive days on which the maximum apparent temperature (Tappmax) exceeds the 90th percentile of Tappmax and the minimum temperature (Tmin) exceeds the 90th percentile of Tmin. Health heatwaves are calculated for each month of the summer period between June and August. The apparent temperature is a measure of relative discomfort due to combined heat and high humidity.

Data Sources The health-related heatwave statistics are calculated using bias-adjusted EURO-CORDEX data for two CMIP5 scenarios with different possible future greenhouse gas emissions: RCP4.5 (medium emissions) and RCP8.5 (high emissions). The data covers the period 1971 to 2099 and statistics are averaged for 30 years in overlapping time periods set 10 years apart. Finally, the time series are averaged for the model ensemble.

Supporting Information The data was collated on behalf of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Further information about this index can be found in the C3S documentation resources in the Climate Data Store.

Visualisation and Navigation The annual number of heatwave days are presented for the health-related definition of heatwaves for two CMIP5 scenarios: RCP4.5 with medium greenhouse gas emissions and RCP8.5 with high greenhouse gas emissions.

Statistics for the number of health-related heatwave days are also available via the "Explore in Detail" button as national, sub-national and trans-national area-means for which time series data can be plotted.

Number of health-related heatwave days

Content in the European Climate Data Explorer pages is delivered by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) implemented by ECMWF.


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This translation is generated by eTranslation, a machine translation tool provided by the European Commission.