Seasonal variability in heat-related mortality across the United States
Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 55, Number 2, November 2010 , pp. 291-305(15)
Abstract:This study examines the seasonal variability in the heat mortality relationship across 29 US metropolitan areas from 1975 to 2004 to discern the seasonal cycle of the health risk from anomalously high temperatures (relative to the time of season). Mortality data for the 30-year period are standardized to account for population trends and overall seasonal and interannual variability. On days when a city experienced an “oppressive” air mass, mean anomalous mortality was calculated. Results show that while the greatest overall health impact is found mid-summer in many locations due to the peak frequency of hot weather occurring at this time, the relative increase in acute mortality on oppressive air mass days is actually just as large in spring as it is in summer, and in some cases is larger. Late summer and autumn vulnerability to anomalously warm or hot days is much less significant than spring days in all areas except along the Pacific coast. Results show significant spatial variability, with the most consistent results across the more `traditionally' heat vulnerable areas of the Midwestern and northeastern US, along with the Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, the seasonal cycle of the correlation between anomalously high temperatures and human health is more ambiguous.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Kent State University, 413 McGilvrey Hall, Kent, OH, 44242, USA, Email: email@example.com 2: Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, USA
Publication date: 2010-11-01