International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 335–345

Heat waves and heat days in an arid city in the northwest of México: current trends and in climate change scenarios

  • Rafael O. García Cueto
  • Adalberto Tejeda Martínez
  • Ernesto Jáuregui Ostos
Original Paper

Abstract

The aim of this work is to study heat waves (HWs) in Mexicali, Mexico, because numerous deaths have been reported in this city, caused by heatstroke. This research acquires relevancy because several studies have projected that the health impacts of HWs could increase under various climate change scenarios, especially in countries with low adaptive capacity, as is our case. This paper has three objectives: first, to analyze the observed change in the summer (1 June to 15 September) daily maximum temperature during the period from 1951 to 2006; secondly, to characterize the annual and monthly evolution of frequency, duration and intensity of HWs; and finally, to generate scenarios of heat days (HDs) by means of a statistical downscaling model, in combination with a global climate model (HadCM3), for the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s. The results show summer maximum temperatures featured warming and cooling periods from 1951 until the mid-1980s and, later, a rising tendency, which prevailed until 2006. The duration and intensity of HWs have increased for all summer months, which is an indicator of the severity of the problem; in fact, there are 2.3 times more HWs now than in the decade of the 1970s. The most appropriate distribution for modeling the occurrence of HDs was the Weibull, with the maximum temperature as co-variable. For the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, HDs under a medium-high emissions scenario (A2) could increase relative to 1961–1990, by 2.1, 3.6, and 5.1 times, respectively, whereas under a medium-low emissions scenario (B2), HDs could increase by 2.4, 3.4, and 4.0, for the same projections of time.

Keywords

Heat wave Heat day Climate change Statistical downscaling Mexicali city 

References

  1. Abaurrea J, Asín J, Cebrián AC, Centelles A (2007) Modeling and forecasting extreme hot events in the central Ebro valley, a continental-Mediterranean area. Glob Planet Change 57:43–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basu R, Samet J (2003) The relationship between elevated ambient temperature and mortality: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. Epidemiol Rev 24:190–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell ML, O’Neill MS, Ranjit N, Borja-Aburto VH, Cifuentes LA, Gouveia NC (2008) Vulnerability to heat-related mortality in Latin America: a case-crossover study in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Chile and Mexico City, Mexico. Int J Epidemiol. doi:10.1093/ije/dyn094 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beniston M, Díaz HF (2004) The 2003 heat wave as an example of summers in a greenhouse climate? Observations and climate model simulations for Basel, Switzerland. Glob Planet Change 44:73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blashki G, McMichael T, Karoly DJ (2007) Climate change and primary health care Australian Family Physician 36:986–989Google Scholar
  6. Braga AL, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J (2001) The time course of weather-related deaths. Epidemiology 12:662–667CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Changnon SA, Kunkel KE, Reinke BC (1996) Impacts and responses to 1995 heat wave: A call of action. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 77:427–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cleveland WS (1979) Robust locally weighted regression and smoothing scatterplots. J Amer Statistical Assoc 74:829–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Curriero FC, Heiner KS, Samet JM, Zeger SL, Strug L, Patz JA (2002) Temperature and mortality in 11 cities of the Eastern United States. Am J Epidemiol 156:193–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dessai S (2003) Heat stress and mortality in Lisbon Part II: An assessment of the potential impacts of climate change. Int J Biometeorology 48:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diaz J, Garcia R, Velázquez de Castro F, Hernández E, López C, Otero A (2002) Effects of extremely hot days on people older than 65 years in Seville (Spain) from 1986 to 1997. Int J Biometeorol 46:145–149CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Ebi LK, Meehl AG (2007) Heatwaves & global climate change. The heat is on: climate change & heatwaves in the Midwest. Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Arlington, p 14Google Scholar
  13. Ebi LK, Teisberg JT, Kalkstein SL, Robinson L, Weiher RF (2004) Heat watch/warning systems save lives: estimated costs and benefits for Philadelfia 1995–1998. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 85:1067–1073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. EPA (2006) Excessive heat events guidebook. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington 51Google Scholar
  15. Gilleland E, Katz WR (2006) Analyzing seasonal to interannual extreme weather and climate variability with the extremes toolkit. Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research. On line: http://www.assessment.ucar.edu/pdf/Gilleland2006revised.pdf
  16. Gover M (1938) Mortality during periods of excessive temperature. Public Health Rep 53:1122–1143Google Scholar
  17. Hayhoe K, Cayan D, Field CP, Frumhoff PE, Maurer PE, Miller LN, Mose CS, Schneider HS, Cahill NK, Cleland EE, Dale L, Drapek R, Hanemann MR, Kalkstein SL, Lenihan J, Lunch KC, Neilson PR, Sheridan CS, Verville HJ (2004) Emission pathways, climate change, and impacts in California. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:12422–12427CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis, Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC fourth assessment report. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Observations: atmospheric surface and climate change. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 235–336Google Scholar
  19. Kalkstein LS, Greene DJ (1997) Evaluation of climate/mortality relationships in large US cities and the possible impacts of climate change. Environ Health Perspect 105:84–93CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kalkstein LS, Sheridan SC (2007) The social impacts of the heat-health watch/warning system in Phoenix, Arizona: assessing the perceived risk and response of the public. Int J Biometeorol 52:43–55CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kalkstein LS, Sheridan SC, Kalkstein AJ (2009) Heat/health warning systems: development, implementation and intervention activities. Biometeorology for adaptation to climate variability and change. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, pp 33–48. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020—8921-3_3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Karl TR, Knight RW (1997) The 1995 Chicago heat wave. How likely is a recurrence? Bull Amer Meteor Soc 78:1107–1119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Karl TR, Trenberth KE (2003) Modern global climate change. Science 302:1719–1723CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kovats SR, Ebi LK (2006) Heatwaves and public health in Europe. Eur J Public Health 16:592–599CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kunkel KE, Changnon SA, Reinke BC, Arritt RW (1996) The July 1995 heat wave in the Midwest: a climatic perspective and critical weather factors. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 77:1507–1518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kyselý J (2004) Mortality and displaced mortality Turing heat waves in the Czech Republic. Int J Biometeorol 49:91–97CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Kyselý J, Kalkova J, Kvéton V (2000) Heat waves in the south moravian during the period 1961–1995. Studia geoph et geod 44:57–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McMichael AJ, Wilkinson P, Kovats RS, Pattenden S, Hajat S, Armstrong B, Vajanapoom N, Niciu EM, Mahomed H, Kingkeow C, Kosnik M, O’Neill MS, Romieu I, Ramirez-Aguilar M, Barreto ML, Gouveia N, Nikiforov B (2008) International study of temperature, heat and urban mortality: the ´ISOTHURM´ project. Int J Epidemiol 1–11Google Scholar
  29. Meehl GA, Tebaldi C (2004) More intense, more frequent, and longer lasting heat waves in the 21st century. Science 305:994–997CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Nakicenovic N, Swart R (eds) (2000) Special report on emissions scenarios: a special report of working group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  31. O’Neill MS, Hajat S, Zanobetti A, Ramirez-Aguilar M, Schwartz J (2005) Impact of control for air pollution and respiratory epidemics on the estimated associations of temperature and daily mortality. Int J Biometeorol 50:121–129CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Palecki AM, Changnon AS, Kunkel EK (2001) The nature and impacts of the July 1999 heat wave in the Midwestern United States: learning from the lessons of 1995. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 82:1353–1367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pope DV, Galiani LM, Rowntree RP, Stratton AR (2000) The impact of new physical parameterizations in the Hadley Centre climate model — HadAM3. Clim Dyn 16:123–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. R Development Core Team (2004) A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0. On-Line: http://www.R-project.org
  35. Robinson PJ (2001) On the definition of a Heat Wave. J Appl Meteor 40:762–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sánchez E, Gallardo C, Gaertner AM, Arribas A, Castro M (2004) Future extreme climtate events in the Mediterranean simulated by a regional climate model: a first approach. Glob Planet Change 44:163–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schär C, Vidale LP, Lüthi D, Frei C, Häberli C, Liniger M, Appenzeller C (2004) The role of increasing temperature variability in European summer heat waves. Nature 427:332–336CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Semenza JC, Rubin CH, Falter KH, Selanikio JD, Flanders WD, Home HL, Wilhelm JL (1996) Heath-related deaths during the July 1995 heat wave in Chicago. New Engl J Med 335:84–90CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Sheridan SC (2007) A survey of public perception and response to heat warnings across four North American cities: an evaluation of municipal effectiveness. Int J Biometeorol 52:3–15CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Sheridan SC, Dolney TJ (2003) Heat, mortality, and level of urbanization: measuring vulnerability across OHIO, USA. Clim Res 24:255–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stott AP, Stone AD, Allen RM (2004) Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003. Nature 432:610–614CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Tan J, Youfei Z, Song G, Kalkstein LS, Kalkstein AJ, Tang X (2007) Heat wave impacts on mortality in Shangai, 1998 and 2003. Int J Biometeorol 51:193–200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Von Storch H (1999) On the use of “inflation” in statistical downscaling. J Climate 12:3505–3506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. WHO (2003) The health impacts of 2003 summer heat-waves. Briefing note for the delegations of the fifty-third session of the WHO (World Health Organization) Regional Committee for Europe, p 12Google Scholar
  45. Wilby LR, Dawson CW (2007) Statistical Downscaling Model Version 4.2. User Manual. On-Line: https://co-public.lboro.ac.uk/cocwd/SDSM/index.html

Copyright information

© ISB 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael O. García Cueto
    • 1
  • Adalberto Tejeda Martínez
    • 2
  • Ernesto Jáuregui Ostos
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de IngenieríaUniversidad Autónoma de Baja CaliforniaMexicaliMéxico
  2. 2.Grupo de Climatología AplicadaUniversidad VeracruzanaVeracruzMéxico
  3. 3.Centro de Ciencias de la AtmósferaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexicoMexico

Personalised recommendations