Publication Abstracts

Sarofim et al. 2016

Sarofim, M.C., S. Saha, M.D. Hawkins, D.M. Mills, J. Hess, R. Horton, P. Kinney, J. Schwartz, and A. St. Juliana, 2016: Ch. 2: Temperature-related death and illness. In The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. A. Crimmins, J. Balbus, J.L. Gamble, C.B. Beard, J.E. Bell, D. Dodgen, R.J. Eisen, N. Fann, M.D. Hawkins, S.C. Herring, L. Jantarasami, D.M. Mills, S. Saha, M.C. Sarofim, J. Trtanj, and L. Ziska, Eds. U.S. Global Change Research Program, pp. 43-68, doi:10.7930/J0MG7MDX.

Based on present-day sensitivity to heat, an increase of thousands to tens of thousands of premature heat-related deaths in the summer and a decrease of premature cold-related deaths in the winter are projected each year as a result of climate change by the end of the century. Future adaptation will very likely reduce these impacts (see Changing Tolerance to Extreme Heat Finding). The reduction in cold-related deaths is projected to be smaller than the increase in heat-related deaths in most regions.

Days that are hotter than usual in the summer or colder than usual in the winter are both associated with increased illness and death. Mortality effects are observed even for small differences from seasonal average temperatures. Because small temperature differences occur much more frequently than large temperature differences, not accounting for the effect of these small differences would lead to underestimating the future impact of climate change.

An increase in population tolerance to extreme heat has been observed over time. Changes in this tolerance have been associated with increased use of air conditioning, improved social responses, and/or physiological acclimatization, among other factors. Expected future increases in this tolerance will reduce the projected increase in deaths from heat.

Older adults and children have a higher risk of dying or becoming ill due to extreme heat. People working outdoors, the socially isolated and economically disadvantaged, those with chronic illnesses, as well as some communities of color, are also especially vulnerable to death or illness.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Sarofim, M. C. and Saha, S. and Hawkins, M. D. and Mills, D. M. and Hess, J. and Horton, R. and Kinney, P. and Schwartz, J. and St. Juliana, A.},
  editor={Crimmins, A. and Balbus, J. and Gamble, J. L. and Beard, C. B. and Bell, J. E. and Dodgen, D. and Eisen, R. J. and Fann, N. and Hawkins, M. D. and Herring, S. C. and Jantarasami, L. and Mills, D. M. and Saha, S. and Sarofim, M. C. and Trtanj, J. and Ziska, L.},
  title={Ch. 2: Temperature-related death and illness},
  booktitle={The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment},
  publisher={U.S. Global Change Research Program},
  address={Washington, D.C.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - sa03300h
AU  - Sarofim, M. C.
AU  - Saha, S.
AU  - Hawkins, M. D.
AU  - Mills, D. M.
AU  - Hess, J.
AU  - Horton, R.
AU  - Kinney, P.
AU  - Schwartz, J.
AU  - St. Juliana, A.
ED  - Crimmins, A.
ED  - Balbus, J.
ED  - Gamble, J. L.
ED  - Beard, C. B.
ED  - Bell, J. E.
ED  - Dodgen, D.
ED  - Eisen, R. J.
ED  - Fann, N.
ED  - Hawkins, M. D.
ED  - Herring, S. C.
ED  - Jantarasami, L.
ED  - Mills, D. M.
ED  - Saha, S.
ED  - Sarofim, M. C.
ED  - Trtanj, J.
ED  - Ziska, L.
PY  - 2016
TI  - Ch. 2: Temperature-related death and illness
BT  - The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment
SP  - 43
EP  - 68
DO  - 10.7930/J0MG7MDX
PB  - U.S. Global Change Research Program
CY  - Washington, D.C.
ER  -

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