Estimating heat wave-related mortality in Europe using singular spectrum analysis
- 1.1k Downloads
Estimating the impact of heat waves on human mortality is key when it comes to the design of effective climate change adaptation measures. As the usual approach—relying on detailed health data in form of hospital records—is not feasible for many countries, a different methodology is needed. This work presents such an approach. Based on singular spectrum analysis and using monthly mortality rates—partly ranging back to 1960—it derives excess mortality estimates for 27 European countries. Excess mortality is then regressed against a heat wave measure in order to assess the health impacts of extreme heat. The analysis demonstrates that many European countries are severely affected by heat waves: On average, 0.61%—and up to 1.14% in case of Portugal—of all deaths are caused by extreme heat events. This finding confirms the understanding that climate change is a major environmental risk to public health: In the 27 examined European countries, over 28,000 people die every year due to exposure to extreme heat.
KeywordsHeat Wave Excess Mortality Extreme Heat Singular Spectrum Analysis Human Mortality
I would like to thank my advisor, Douglas G. Martinson, for invaluable feedback and two anonymous reviewers for tremendously helpful suggestions. I further would like to acknowledge the providers of the used data: Haylock et al. (2008) – E-OBS 12.0 dataset from the EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES (http://ensembles-eu.metoffice.com) and the data providers in the ECA&D project (http://www.ecad.eu). Eurostat and EFGS (2011) – GEOSTAT 2011 V2 from Eurostat (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/) and the European Forum for GeoStatistics (http://www.efgs.info/). Eurostat (2015) – mortality and population statistics from Eurostat (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/).
- Currie J, Neidell M (2005) Air pollution and infant health: what can we learn from california’s recent experience? Q J Econ 120(3):1003–1030Google Scholar
- Elsner JB, Tsonis AA (1996) Singular spectrum analysis. Plenum PressGoogle Scholar
- Eurostat (2015) http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database
- Fischer EM, Knutti R (2015) Anthropogenic contribution to global occurrence of heavy-precipitation and high-temperature extremes. Nat Clim ChangeGoogle Scholar
- Ghil M, Allen M R, Dettinger M D, Ide K, Kondrashov D, Mann M E, RA W, Saunders A, Tian Y, Varadi F, Yiou P (2002) Advanced spectral methods for climatic time series. Rev Geophys 40(1)Google Scholar
- Haylock MR, Hofstra N, Klein Tank AMG, Klok EJ, DJP MN (2008) A european daily high-resolution gridded data set of surface temperature and precipitation for 1950 - 2006. J Geophys Res Atmos 113(D20)Google Scholar
- IPCC (2014) AR5 WG II - climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerabilityGoogle Scholar
- Madrigano J, Ito K, Johnson S, Kinney PL, Matte T (2015) A case-only study of vulnerability to heat wave–related mortality in new york city (2000–2011). Environ Health Perspect 123(7):672–678Google Scholar
- Montgomery DC (2009) Design and analysis of experiments, 7th edn. WileyGoogle Scholar
- Robine JM, Cheung SLK, Le Roy S, Van Oyen H, Griffiths C, Michel JP, Herrman FR (2008) Death toll exceeded 70’000 in europe during the summer of 2003. C R Biol 331(2):171–178Google Scholar
- Watts N, Adger WN, Agnolucci P, Blackstock J, Byass P, Cai W, Chaytor S, Colbourn T, Collins M, Cooper A, Cox PM, Depledge J, Drummond P, Ekins P, Galaz V, Grace D, Graham H, Grubb M, Haines A, Hamilton I, Hunter A, Jiang X, Li M, Kelman I, Liang L, Lott M, Lowe R, Luo Y, Mace G, Maslin M, Nilsson M, Oreszczyn T, Pye S, Quinn T, Svensdotter M, Venevsky S, Warner K, Xu B, Yang J, Yin Y, Yu C, Zhang Q, Gong P, Montgomery H, Costello A (2015) Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health. The Lancet 386 (10006):1861–1914CrossRefGoogle Scholar