The urban heat island and its impact on heat waves and human health in Shanghai. Int J Biometeorol 54: 75-84

Shanghai Urban Environmental Meteorology Center, 951 Jinxiu Road, Pudong, Shanghai, 200135, China.
International Journal of Biometeorology (Impact Factor: 3.25). 10/2009; 54(1):75-84. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-009-0256-x
Source: PubMed


With global warming forecast to continue into the foreseeable future, heat waves are very likely to increase in both frequency and intensity. In urban regions, these future heat waves will be exacerbated by the urban heat island effect, and will have the potential to negatively influence the health and welfare of urban residents. In order to investigate the health effects of the urban heat island (UHI) in Shanghai, China, 30 years of meteorological records (1975-2004) were examined for 11 first- and second-order weather stations in and around Shanghai. Additionally, automatic weather observation data recorded in recent years as well as daily all-cause summer mortality counts in 11 urban, suburban, and exurban regions (1998-2004) in Shanghai have been used. The results show that different sites (city center or surroundings) have experienced different degrees of warming as a result of increasing urbanization. In turn, this has resulted in a more extensive urban heat island effect, causing additional hot days and heat waves in urban regions compared to rural locales. An examination of summer mortality rates in and around Shanghai yields heightened heat-related mortality in urban regions, and we conclude that the UHI is directly responsible, acting to worsen the adverse health effects from exposure to extreme thermal conditions.

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Available from: Jianguo Tan, Sep 05, 2014
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    • "With the rapid urbanization in the world, Urban Heat Island (UHI) is now one of the major problems posed to human beings and it is not only directly responsible for adverse health effect from exposure to extreme thermal conditions, but also has indirect effect on human health via air pollution (Frumkin, 2002; Rizwan et al., 2008; Tan et al., 2010). Urban heat island is known as the higher temperature observed in urban areas than its surroundings (Oke, 1982; Rizwan et al., 2008). "
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    • "Studies into heat-related mortality in Europe have indicated that the most vulnerable individuals are the elderly [4] [5] [6] [7], those with pre-existing health problems [4,8–10], the socially-isolated [11], those living in top-floor flats and with a lack of thermal insulation [5], and those living in care homes [11] [12]. Studies in Paris [13], Quebec [14], Philadelphia [15], Berlin and Brandenburg [16], and Shanghai [17] have found evidence supporting the role of Urban Heat Islands (UHI) on increased mortality risk. "
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