In 2003, a 10 day heatwave period caused over 2,000 excess deaths (compared to the same dates in the previous five years) in UK. As a response, the heatwave plan for England was first issued in 2014 and has since undergone annual updates (last update in May 2016 has not introduced changes to 2015 version that therefore it is the one still valid). The plan intends to protect the population from heat-related harm to health. It aims to prepare for, alert people to, and prevent, the major avoidable effects on health during periods of severe heat.
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The National Heat-Health Action Plan (HHAP) of North Macedonia was developed in 2011 and approved in 2012, following the National Climate Change Health Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. The HHAP aims to decrease morbidity and mortality connected with extreme temperatures and heatwaves.
The county of Sogn og Fjordane frequently experiences avalanches and landslides, storm surges and flooding. Due to climate change and related impacts on extreme weather events above hazards are expected to be exacerbated; more extensive adaptation strategies and measures are therefore needed.
The City of Tatabánya has a Local Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, approved in 2008, which have been implemented to address diverse climate hazards, which mainly impact people’s health (e.g. heatwaves and heat stress, UV radiation, forest fires).
In the last century, heatwaves in Sweden occurred once every 20 years (the last being in 1975). Since the start of the new millennium, four heatwaves (2003, 2007, 2010 and 2018) have been already experienced. The frequency of these events is expected to further increase due to climate change; they will occur once every three to five years towards the end of the century. Heatwaves are already leading to increased mortality. Botkyrka is a municipality in Stockholm County in east central Sweden, not far from the capital with a population of 91.925 inhabitants.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a vector-borne pathogen, which can infect humans, mammals (e.g., horses) and birds. Its transmission cycle is related to the interactions between pathogen, vector, vertebrate hosts, and the environment. Weather conditions have direct and indirect influences on this vector; changes in climatic conditions (temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, and winds) could lead to an increased spread of WNV also in areas that currently are not severely affected.
Evidence that elevated temperatures can lead to increased mortality and morbidity is well documented, with population vulnerability being location specific. The elderly are particular vulnerable to extreme heat stress. Being part of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal has a mild Mediterranean climate. Climate change projections indicate that the number of days with extreme heat in Portugal will increase with urban areas being more sensitive.
Evidence that increasing temperatures leads to increased mortality and morbidity is well documented, with population vulnerability being location specific. Especially the 2003 heat wave in Europe raised the awareness of negative impacts of heat stress on human health in Austria. Increased incidence of heat waves leads to an increase in heat stress, especially in urban areas; the intensification of the heat-island effect is to be expected.
The city of Antwerp, in order to better understand the problem of heat stress, commissioned the research organization VITO to map the current and future temperatures and thermal comfort in the city. The research results indicate that the urban heat island of Antwerp exacerbates the impact of climate change on the urban population as the amount of heatwave days in the city raises twice as fast as in the rural surroundings. To tackle the problem of heat stress in the city, adaptation measures at three different scales (city-wide, local and the individual citizen) are put forth.
The 19th century industrialisation in Lodz heavily affected the city’s rivers, altering their ecosystems and hydrology. Many rivers in the densely built-up city were canalized. This resulted in a higher flood risk from runoff during heavy rain periods. Low water retention also implies reduction of soil moisture during dry spells, contributing to higher temperature and reduced air humidity (urban heat island). Based on climate change projections, it is expected that the intensity of heavy rain periods and higher temperatures will increase and exacerbate these problems.