Attributing human mortality during extreme heat waves to anthropogenic climate change

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Attributing human mortality during extreme heat waves to anthropogenic climate change

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Attributing human mortality during extreme heat waves to anthropogenic climate change
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It has been argued that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. The extreme high temperatures of the summer of 2003 were associated with up to seventy thousand excess deaths across Europe. Previous studies have attributed the meteorological event to the human influence on climate, or examined the role of heat waves on human health. Here, for the first time, we explicitly quantify the role of human activity on climate and heat-related mortality in an event attribution framework, analysing both the Europe-wide temperature response in 2003, and localised responses over London and Paris. Using publicly-donated computing, we perform many thousands of climate simulations of a high-resolution regional climate model. This allows generation of a comprehensive statistical description of the 2003 event and the role of human influence within it, using the results as input to a health impact assessment model of human mortality. We find large-scale dynamical modes of atmospheric variability remain largely unchanged under anthropogenic climate change, and hence the direct thermodynamical response is mainly responsible for the increased mortality. In summer 2003, anthropogenic climate change increased the risk of heat-related mortality in Central Paris by ~70% and by ~20% in London, which experienced lower extreme heat. Out of the estimated ~315 and ~735 summer deaths attributed to the heatwave event in Greater London and Central Paris, respectively, 64 (±3) deaths were attributable to anthropogenic climate change in London, and 506 (±51) in Paris. Such an ability to robustly attribute specific damages to anthropogenic drivers of increased extreme heat can inform societal responses to, and responsibilities for, climate change.

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the summer heat wave of 2003 impacted the lives of people throughout Europe more so than any other natural event on record and this was due to a combination of physical environmental factors but also
societal factors in the summer 2003 the atmosphere was in a very unusual state would persistent stationary high pressure system centered on
Europe the source of persistent systems block or in some cases redirect weather
systems that would otherwise track across Europe these can lead to large cloud-free regions which calls very hot temperatures at the
surface we refer to these sorts of processes as the dynamics of the atmosphere and an interesting question is to ask whether or not
the dynamics of change in frequency or
magnitude due to climate change to address this question we perform a type of analysis known as probabilistic event attribution which
allows us to determine how the 2003 heatwave might a change and the human induced warming we do this through help citizen scientists who runs thousands of initial condition ensemble members and the heat wave
under conditions as they were in 2003 and conditions as they might have been about human emissions this allows us to compare the probability to events occurring in the 2 scenarios we find that the 2003 heatwave event was made more likely due to human-induced climate change but in
this case from changes in the underlying thermodynamics of the system by the fact the fact that the globe is warming rather than any changes in dynamics the really interesting results
came from the human health and as the heat wave of 2003 led to tens of thousands of deaths across Europe Paris is particularly badly affected because the temperatures in August will continuously high for much of the month London
was also affected by the heat wave but to a lesser extent previous work has quantified the health impacts due to the heat wave in Europe and also found that it's likely that climate change increased the chance of this heat wave occurring in our paper we view something called end to end attribution to estimate the amount of heat related mortality in London and in Paris that was due to man-made climate change in the summer of 2003 we use the 2 sets of attribution experiments just just described by done 1 set had natural climate factors included and the other set had both natural and man-made climate factors included to calculate the number of deaths attributed to the heat wave we used a statistical relationship which relates increases in temperature above a certain threshold to an increase in the number of deaths above those typically expected on a particular day of the year we then applied the temperature mortality coefficients to the 2 sets of climate simulations for the summer of 2003 and we estimated how many deaths during this period could be attributed to hate by comparing the difference in mortality in the natural and the actual simulations we were able to estimate the proportion of mortality due to man-made all anthropogenic climate change and we found that for the summer of 2003 around 20 % of the heat related mortality in London and around 70 per cent of that in Paris could be attributed to man-made climate change if you'd like to get involved with the project like this as a citizen scientist Ukraine joined by going to www dot climate prediction dot net and you can sign up and you can run your own climate simulations on your home computers