Avoiding the avoidable: Towards a European heat waves risk governance
- 1.2k Downloads
The death toll of recent heat waves in developed countries has been remarkably high, contradicting the common assumption that high levels of economic and technological development automatically lead to lower vulnerability to weather extremes. Future climate change may further increase this vulnerability. In this article we examine some recent evidence of heat wave-related mortality and we conclude that while economic wealth and technological capacity might be a necessary condition for adequately coping with adverse climate change effects, they are not sufficient. Questions of awareness, preparedness, organizational issues, and actor networks have to be addressed in a proactive and focused manner in order to avoid future heat wave damages. We propose some practical consequences for heat wave adaptation measures by adopting a risk governance framework that can be universally applied, as it is sufficiently flexible to deal with the multi-level and often fragmented reality of existing coping measures.
Keywordsclimate change adaptation early warning systems heat waves risk governance risk management
- Alexander, L.V., X. Zhang, T. C. Peterson, J. Caesar, B. Gleason, A. M. G. Klein Tank, M. Haylock, D. Collins, B. Trewin, F. Rahimzadeh, A. Tagipour, P. Ambenje, K. Rupa Kumar, J. Revadekar, and G. Griffiths. 2006. Global Observed Changes in Daily Climate Extremes of Temperature and Precipitation. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, D05109. DOI:10.1029/2005JD006290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bassil, K., D. C. Cole, K. Smoyer-Tomic, and M. Callaghan. 2007. What is the Evidence on Applicability and Effectiveness of Public Health Interventions in Reducing Morbidity and Mortality during Heat Episodes? Vancouver, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health.Google Scholar
- Beniston, M., D. Stephenson, O. Christensen, C. Ferro, C. Frei, S. Goyette, K. Halsnaes, T. Holt, K. Jylhä, B. Koffi, J. Palutikof, R. Schöll, T. Semmler, and K. Woth. 2007. Future Extreme Events in European Climate: An Exploration of Regional Climate Model Projections. Climatic Change 81(Supplement 1): 71–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ciais, Ph., M. Reichstein, N. Viovy, A. Granier, J. Ogee, V. Allard, M. Aubinet, N. Buchmann, C. Bernhofer, A. Carrara, F. Chevallier, N. De Noblet, A. D. Friend, P. Friedlingstein, T. Grünwald, B. Heinesch, P. Keronen, A. Knohl, G. Krinner, D. Loustau, G. Manca, G. Matteucci, F. Miglietta, J. M. Ourcival, D. Papale, K. Pilegaard, S. Rambal, G. Seufert, J. F. Sousanna, M. J. Sanz, E. D. Schulze, T. Vesala, and R. Valentini. 2005. Europe-Wide Reduction in Primary Productivity Caused by the Heat and Drought in 2003. Nature 437(7058): 529–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ciscar, J.-C., ed. 2009. Climate Change Impacts in Europe. Final Report of the PESETA (Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on boTtom-up Analysis) Research Project. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
- Ciscar, J.-C., A. Iglesias, L. Feyen, L. Szabó, D. Van Regemorter, B. Amelung, R. Nicholls, P. Watkiss, O. B. Christensen, R. Dankers, L. Garrote, C. M. Goodess, A. Hunt, A., Moreno, J. Richards, and A. Soria. 2011. Physical and Economic Consequences of Climate Change in Europe. PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) 108(7): 2678–2683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Conti, S. 2011. Heat Wave and Mortality of Elderly. In Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, edited by J. O. Nriagu, 113–34. Riverport Ln: Elsevier Science Ltd — Elsevier Science & Technology.Google Scholar
- D’Ippoliti, D., P. Michelozzi, C. Marino, F. de’Donato, B. Menne, K. Katsouyanni, U. Kirchmayer, A. Analitis, M. Medina-Ramón, A. Paldy, R. Atkinson, S. Kovats, L. Bisanti, A. Schneider, A. Lefranc, C. Iñiguez, and C. A. Perucci. 2010. The Impact of Heat Waves on Mortality in 9 European Cities: Results from the EuroHEAT Project. Environmental Health 9(1): 37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- DG ECFIN (European Commission Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs). 2006. The Impact of Ageing on Public Expenditure: Projections for the EU25 Member States on Pensions, Health Care, Long-Term Care, Education and Unemployment Transfers (2004–2050). European Economy. Special Report 1. Luxembourg. http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication6654_en.pdf.
- Fouillet, A., G. Rey, V. Wagner, K. Laaidi, P. Empereur-Bissonnet, A. Le Tertre, P. Frayssinet, P. Bessemoulin, F. Laurent, P. De Crouy-Chanel, E. Jougla, and D. Hémon. 2008. Has the Impact of Heat Waves on Mortality Changed in France since the European Heat Wave of Summer 2003? International Journal of Epidemiology 37(2): 309–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- GCP (Global Carbon Project). 2010. Global Carbon Budget 2009. http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/09/files/GCP2010_CarbonBudget2009.pdf.
- Hajat, S., S. C. Sheridan, M. J. Allen, M. Pascal, K. Laaidi, A. Yagouti, U. Bickis, A. Tobias, D. Bourque, B. G. Armstrong, and T. Kosatsky. 2010. Heat-Health Warning Systems: A Comparison of the Predictive Capacity of Different Approaches to Identifying Dangerously Hot Days. American Journal of Public Health 100(6): 1137–44. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2009.169748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hallegatte, S., and J. Corfee-Morlot. 2011. Understanding Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation at City Scale: An Introduction. Climatic Change 104(1), Special Issue: Understanding Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation at City Scale: 1–12. DOI:10.1007/s10584-010-9981-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hinkel, J., S. Bisaro, T. Downing, M. E. Hoffmann, K. Lonsdale, D. Mcevoy, and J. D. Tabara. 2009. Learning to Adapt. Narratives of Decision Makers Adapting to Climate Change. In Making Climate Change Work for Us: European Perspectives on Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies, edited by M. Hulme, and H. Neufeldt, 113–34. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hübler, M., G. Klepper, and S. Peterson. 2007. Costs of Climate Change—The Effects of Rising Temperatures on Health and Productivity in Germany. Kiel Working Paper No. 1321. Kiel: Kiel Institute for the World Economy.Google Scholar
- IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Edited by Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K. B. Averyt, M. Tignor, and H. L. Miller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- IRGC (International Risk Governance Council). 2005. IRGC White Paper No 1. Risk Governance — Towards an Integrative Approach. Geneva: IRGC.Google Scholar
- IRGC (International Risk Governance Council). 2008. An Introduction to the IRGC Risk Governance Framework. Geneva: IRGC.Google Scholar
- Jaeger, C. C., O. Renn, E. A. Rosa, and Th. Webler. 2001. Risk, Uncertainty, and Rational Action. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Jaeger, C. C., J. Krause, A. Haas, R. Klein, and K. Hasselmann. 2008. A Method for Computing the Fraction of Attributable Risk Related to Climate Damages With an Application to the Alpine Heat Wave. 2003. Risk Analysis 28 (4): 815–23. DOI:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2008.01070.x.Google Scholar
- Kalkstein, L. S., S. C. Sheridan, and A. J. Kalkstein. 2009. Heat/Health Warning Systems: Development, Implementation, and Intervention Activities. In Biometeorology for Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change, edited by K. L. Ebi, I. Burton, and G. R. McGregor, 33–48. Berlin: Springer. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4020-8921-3_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Koppe, C. 2005. Health-Related Assessment of Thermal Stress, Taking into Account Short-Term Adaptation to Local Weather Conditions (Gesundheitsrelevante Bewertung von thermischer Belastung unter Berücksichtigung der kurzfristigen Anpassung der Bevölkerung an die lokalen Witterungsverhältnisse). Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Freiburg, Germany.Google Scholar
- Koppe, C., S. Kovats, G. Jendritzky, B. Menne, et al. 2004. Heat-Waves: Risks and Responses. Copenhagen: WHO (World Health Organization). Regional Office for Europe. Health and Global Environmental Change, Series, No. 2.Google Scholar
- Kosatsky, T., and B. Menne. 2005. Preparedness for Extreme Weather among National Ministries of Health of WHO’s European Region. In Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies for Human Health, edited by B. Menne, and K. L. Ebi, 297–329. Darmstadt: Springer.Google Scholar
- Kovats, R. S., and G. Jendritzky. 2006. Heat-Waves and Human Health. In Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies for Human Health, edited by B. Menne, and K. L. Ebi, 63–97. Darmstadt: Steinkopff.Google Scholar
- Lissner, T., A. Holsten, C. Walther, and J. P. Kropp. 2011. Towards Sectoral and Standardised Vulnerability Assessments: The Example of Heatwave Impacts on Human Health. Climatic Change [in press].Google Scholar
- Liukaityte, J., and C. Koppe. 2009. Heat-Health Warning Systems in Europe. http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/2009/presentations/Liukaityte_HHWS.pdf.
- McGregor, G., K. Ebi, P. Bessemoulin, and B. Menne. 2010. Heat Waves and Health: Guidance on Warning System Development. For Publication by the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization. Draft Version. http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/ccl/opags/documents/HeatWavesandHealthGuidance_26July2010.pdf.
- Michelozzi, P., F. de’Donato, L. Bisanti, A. Russo, E. Cadum, M. DeMaria, M. D’Ovidio, G. Costa, and C. A. Perucci. 2005. The Impact of the Summer 2003 Heatwaves on Mortality in Four Italian Cities. Euro Surveillance 10(7–9): 161–64.Google Scholar
- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis Report. Washington DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
- NHS (National Health Service). 2006. Heatwave Plan for England. Protecting Health and Reducing Harm from Extreme Heat and Heatwaves. Department of Health, UK.Google Scholar
- Nye, J. S., and J. Donahue, eds. 2000. Governance in a Globalising World. Brookings Institution, Washington.Google Scholar
- Renn, O. 2008. Risk Governance: Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Reusswig, F. 2010. The New Climate Change Discourse: A Challenge for Environmental Sociology. In Environmental Sociology: European Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Challenges, edited by M. Gross, and H. Heinrichs, 34–61. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Reusswig, F., and W. Lass. 2010. Post-Carbon Ambivalences. The New Climate Change Discourse and the Risks of Climate Science. In Ambiguous Progress, edited by S. Böschen, and P. Wehling. Science, Technology & Innovation Studies 6(2): 155–81.Google Scholar
- Schönwiese, C.-D. 2007. Will the Climate become more Extreme? A Statistical Analysis (Wird das Klima extremer? Eine statistische Analyse). In Climate Change — Insights, Reviews, and Prospects (Der Klimawandel — Einblicke, Rückblicke und Ausblicke), edited by W. Endlicher, and F.-W. Gerstengarbe. Potsdam, Germany.Google Scholar
- Shi, P. J., N. Li, Q. Ye, W. J. Dong, G. Y. Han, and W. H. Fang. 2010. Research on Integrated Disaster Risk Governance in the Context of Global Environmental Change. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 1(1): 17–23.Google Scholar
- Shuster, S. 2010. Will Russia’s Heat Wave End Its Global-Warming Doubts? Time Magazine online, August 2. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2008081,00.html#ixzz1NNHxChxk.
- Simón, F., G. López-Abente, E. Ballester, and F. Martínez. 2005. Mortality in Spain during the Heatwaves of Summer 2003. Euro Surveillance 10(7): 156–60.Google Scholar
- Stern, N., ed. 2006. The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Stöckli, R., R. Simmon, and D. Herring. 2011. Land Surface Temperature Difference. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=3714.
- Swiss Re. 2011. Natural Catastrophes and Man-Made Disasters in 2010: A Year of Devastating and Costly Events. Sigma 1/2011. Zurich: Swiss Re.Google Scholar
- U.S. EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. Excessive Heat Events Guidebook. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
- WHO Europe (World Health Organization Europe). 2008a. Heat-Health Action Plans. Guidance. Edited by F. Mathies, G. Bickler, N. Cardeñosa Marín, and S. Hales. Copenhagen: WHO Europe.Google Scholar
- —. 2008b. Improving Public Health Responses to Extreme Weather / Heat-Waves — EuroHEAT Meeting Report. Bonn, Germany, 22–23 March 2007.Google Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.