Nearly 8% of deaths are attributable to ambient temperatures, but little is known about the future impact in a warming world. I conducted studies in high-impact journals showing that this death toll can be largely reduced if a substantial degree of adaptation to ambient temperatures takes place. Adaptation strategies have been increasingly implemented in Europe in recent years, but the last IPCC report indicated that evidence of their effectiveness is still lacking. I postulate that adaptation measures are starting to generate positive benefits for the wellbeing of societies, including an adaptive response to climate change, but the degree to which they are effectively reducing human vulnerability is largely heterogeneous among and within European societies. I aim to describe the major sources of vulnerability, and if, which and to what extent societies have already started to adapt to changing conditions. Towards this aim, I will use predictive models to quantify the potential beneficial effect of early adaptation strategies through the attribution of temporal changes in human vulnerability. For that purpose, I will generate a massive database with daily counts of death for different subdomains and spatial resolutions, including data for countries, regions, cities and neighbourhoods, together with the best available climate, air pollution, influenza, socioeconomic and demographic datasets. In addition, I will combine the best epidemiological techniques with weather and climate forecasts and climate change simulations to perform an integrated predictability assessment of mortality risks and provide a realistic re-estimation of the likely range of future heat- and cold- attributable mortality. Expected results will provide a better understanding of the real impact of adaptation measures, which is key for decision-making and the design of strategies minimizing the negative impacts of future temperature rises in Europe.
Field of science
- /social sciences/sociology/demography/mortality
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/air pollution engineering
- /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes
Call for proposal
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