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Changes in population susceptibility to heat and cold over time: assessing adaptation to climate change (2014)

Description

In the context of a warming climate and increasing urbanisation (with the associated urban heat island effect), interest in understanding temperature related health effects is growing.  The objective of this paper is to review studies which have specifically examined variations in temperature related mortality risks over the 20th and 21st centuries and determine whether population adaptation to heat and/or cold has occurred. The paper shows that there is evidence that across a number of different settings, population susceptibility to heat and heatwaves has been decreasing. These changes in heat related susceptibility have important implications for health impact assessments of future heat related risk. A similar decrease in cold related mortality was not shown. Adaptation to heat has implications for future planning, particularly in urban areas, with anticipated increases in temperature due to climate change.

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Source:
Katherine Arbuthnott, Shakoor Hajat, Clare Heaviside and Sotiris Vardoulakis

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