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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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.
Demographic change and climate change together place great challenges on the society. The life expectancy of the population in Germany rises and so does the share of older people. Besides chronic patients and children, the elderly are especially affected by the effects of the climate change. At the same time more and more people live in single person households (increase from 14.56 million in 2004 to 16.83 million in 2016 in Germany), which can influence their social isolation.
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.
Stuttgart’s location in a valley basin, its mild climate, low wind speeds, industrial activity and high volume of traffic has made it susceptible to poor air quality. Development on the valley slopes has prevented air from moving through the city, which worsens the air quality and contributes to the urban heat island effect. A Climate Atlas was developed for the Stuttgart region, presenting the distribution of temperature and cold air flows according to the city’s topography and land use.
The City of Tatabánya has an approved comprehensive adaptation strategy, the Local Climate Change Action Plan, that is in its implementation stage.
This Plan is based upon a comprehensive approach taking into consideration both mitigation and adaptation, incorporating climate considerations into decision-making, and including adaptation concerns in municipal processes. At this time, three measures have been implemented: (1) a local heat alert system; (2) the Smart Sun Educational Programme; and (3) building capacity of the fire brigade.