Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/8309
Mortality attributable to high temperatures over the 2021–2050 and 2051–2100 time horizons in Spain: Adaptation and economic estimate
Environ Res. 2019 May;172:475-485
BACKGROUND: In recent years, a number of studies have been conducted with the aim of analysing the impact that high temperatures will have on mortality over different time horizons under different climate scenarios. Very few of these studies take into account the fact that the threshold temperature used to define a heat wave will vary over time, and there are practically none which calculate this threshold temperature for each geographical area on the assumption that there will be variations at a country level. OBJECTIVE: To analyse the impact that high temperatures will have on mortality across the periods 2021-2050 and 2051-2100 under a high-emission climate scenario (RCP8.5), in a case: (a) where adaptation processes are not taken into account; and (b) where complete adaptation processes are taken into account. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Based on heat-wave definition temperature (Tthreshold) values previously calculated for the reference period, 2000-2009, for each Spanish provincial capital, and their impact on daily mortality as measured by population attributable risk (PAR), the impact of high temperatures on mortality will be calculated for the above-mentioned future periods. Two hypotheses will be considered, namely: (a) that Tthreshold does not vary over time (scenario without adaptation to heat); and, (b) that Tthreshold does vary over time, with the percentile to which said Tthreshold corresponds being assumed to remain constant (complete adaptation to heat). The temperature data were sourced from projections generated by Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate models adapted to each region's local characteristics by the State Meteorological Agency (Agencia Estatal de Meteorología/AEMET). Population-growth projections were obtained from the National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadística/INE). In addition, an economic estimate of the resulting impact will be drawn up. RESULTS: The mean value of maximum daily temperatures will rise, in relation to those of the reference period (2000-2009), by 1.6⁰C across the period 2021-2050 and by 3.3⁰C across the period 2051-2100. In a case where there is no heat-adaptation process, overall annual mortality attributable to high temperatures in Spain would amount to 1414 deaths/year (95% CI: 1089-1771) in the period 2021-2050, rising to 12,896 deaths/year (95% CI: 9852-15,976) in the period 2051-2100. In a case where there is a heat-adaptation process, annual mortality would be 651 deaths/year (95% CI: 500-807) in the period 2021-2050, and 931 deaths per year (95% CI: 770-1081) in the period 2051-2100. These results display a high degree of heterogeneity. The savings between a situation that does envisage and one that does not envisage an adaptive process is €49,100 million/year over the 2051-2100 time horizon. CONCLUSION: A non-linear increase in maximum daily temperatures was observed, which varies widely from some regions to others, with an increase in mean values for Spain as a whole that is not linear over time. The high degree of heterogeneity found in heat-related mortality by region and the great differences observed on considering an adaptive versus a non-adaptive process render it necessary for adaptation plans to be implemented at a regional level.
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