CORDIS - EU research results

Mortality Risk Attributable to Thermal Discomfort Indicators with Implications of Climate Change

Project description

Impact of climate change on mortality risk

Human thermoregulation is not just a result of ambient temperature but also other environmental parameters like humidity, radiant temperature and wind. Correctly determining the relationship between mortality and the surrounding environment is important for assessing the impact of climate on health and understanding the effect on health services, labour productivity and the wider economy. The EU-funded MORDIC project will attribute mortality risk to multiple thermal stressors not previously examined in epidemiology and climate-health impacts studies. Researchers will use an ensemble of thermal discomfort indicators, under both present and future socio-economic/climate scenarios, to improve data and modelling, increase understanding of thermal exposure on the population, inform urban planning and healthcare services and assist in government-initiated National Adaptation Programmes.


A rapidly growing body of studies attribute mortality outcomes to thermal exposures, by empirically estimating reduced-form mortality responses to meteorological fields, usually ambient temperature. The research theme proposed in this project is motivated by the awareness that the human thermoregulatory system is a function of not just ambient temperature, but also other environmental parameters such as humidity, radiant temperature and wind. Correct characterization of the environment-related mortality relationship is vital not just in epidemiology, but also for climate-health impacts assessment, understanding the burden on health services, and the potential spill overs to labour productivity and the wider economy. This project will attribute mortality risk to multiple thermal stressors not previously examined in epidemiology and the wider climate-health impacts studies. The project will apply innovative approaches and for the first time, a comprehensive suite of thermal discomfort indicators, both under present climate and contrasting future socio-economic/climate scenarios. The transdisciplinary nature of the project requiring knowledge and training in subjects such as biostatistics, environmental epidemiology, human biometeorology, big data and climate modelling; will involve two-way transfer of knowledge between the researcher and the host institute. Results have the potential to: (i) improve the data and modelling approaches applied in existing environment-related morality studies at a global scale; (ii) facilitate better understanding of the population’s adaptive capacity to thermal exposures, accounting for age and gender; (iii) inform future public health responses at various national/international scales, such as urban planning, healthcare services, and investments in energy-health adaptation; and (iv) assist in government initiated National Adaptation Programmes. The project is in line with the broader EU strategy for ‘Climate, Environment and Health’.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
WC1E 7HT London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Camden and City of London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76