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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    • "High temperatures in urban areas affect health, economy, leisure activities and wellbeing of urban dwellers. In particular, the health of vulnerable people, such as the old and poor, is highly affected by thermal stress caused by warming (Hajat, Kovats, & Lachowycz, 2007;Patz, Campbell-Lendrum, Holloway, & Foley, 2005;Tan et al., 2010). Urban warming may also enhance air pollution, for example by increasing surface ozone concentration with several negative impacts on human health (Jacob & Winner, 2009;Weaver et al., 2009). "

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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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    • "Especially, Lemonsu et al. (2014) indicate that heat waves will become more frequent at the end of the century (at least one event per year), but also they will last longer and will be more intense than today. These extreme meteorological events are a source of growing concern for cities and urban populations, because high temperatures reached during heat waves are often exacerbated due to urban heat island (UHI) effect (Basara et al., 2010; Tan et al., 2010; Gabriel and Endlicher, 2011; Li and Bou-Zeid, 2013). As a result, there are rising concerns of public and "
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