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Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 133, Issue 3–4, pp 925–936 | Cite as

Human mortality impacts of the 2015 summer heat spells in Slovakia

  • Dalibor Výberči
  • Lívia Labudová
  • Milada Eštóková
  • Pavol Faško
  • Milan Trizna
Original Paper

Abstract

In 2015, Central Europe experienced an unusually warm summer season. For a great majority of climatic stations around Slovakia, it had been the warmest summer ever recorded over their entire instrumental observation period. In this study, we investigate the mortality effects of hot days’ sequences during that particular summer on the Slovak population. In consideration of the range of available mortality data, the position of 2015 is analysed within the years 1996–2015. Over the given 20-year period, the summer heat spells of 2015 were by far the most severe from a meteorological point of view, and clearly the deadliest with the total of almost 540 excess deaths. In terms of impacts, an extraordinary 10-day August heat spell was especially remarkable. The massive lethal effects of heat would have likely been even more serious under normal circumstances, since the number of premature deaths appeared to be partially reduced due to a non-standard mortality pattern in the first quarter of the year. The heat spells of the extremely warm summer of 2015 in Slovakia are notable not just for their short-term response in mortality. It appears that in a combination with the preceding strong influenza season, they subsequently affected mortality conditions in the country in the following months up until the end of the year. The impacts described above were rather different for selected population subgroups (men and women, the elderly). Both separately and as a part of the annual mortality cycle, the 2015 summer heat spells may represent a particularly valuable source of information for public health.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Henrieta Savinová from the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava and Marek Švec from the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute in Bratislava for their early help in providing the necessary source data for our analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dalibor Výberči
    • 1
  • Lívia Labudová
    • 2
    • 1
  • Milada Eštóková
    • 3
  • Pavol Faško
    • 2
  • Milan Trizna
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Slovak Hydrometeorological InstituteBratislavaSlovakia
  3. 3.Public Health Authority of the Slovak RepublicBratislavaSlovakia

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