Themed Joint Session 12 Too Hot to Handle: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Extreme Heat as Disaster. Part II

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 3:00 PM-4:00 PM
North 224A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Host: 24th Conference on Applied Climatology
Liza C. Kurtz, Arizona State Univ., School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Tempe, AZ
Trent Ford, Southern Illinois Univ., Geography & Environmental Resources, Carbondale, IL and Jane Wilson Baldwin, Descartes Labs, Santa Fe, NM

Extreme heat and heat waves are often understood as meteorological events conceptually and practically distinct from dramatic weather disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods. This differentiation may be due to the decorous behavior of heat as a hazard; in most cases, heat does not cause visible infrastructure damage, destroy housing, or invoke costly recovery efforts. Yet extreme heat is one of the leading meteorological causes of morbidity and mortality in post-industrial countries, with death tolls far greater than most other meteorological disasters combined. This session will examine the circumstances under which extreme heat events rise to the level of a ‘disaster’, and the political and policy implications of using ‘disaster’ as a label. We invite presentations discussing the underexamined role of co-occurring hazards in creating large-scale heat emergencies, including technological failures (e.g., power outage, water contamination) and multi-hazard events (e.g., extreme heat following hurricanes or during long-term drought.)  We also aim to showcase work exploring how social, physical, and economic conditions, including social isolation, poverty, and even the built environment, can amplify the effects of extreme heat from meteorological reality to human disaster.

3:00 PM
Assessing Historical Trends in Changing Lengths of Extreme Heat Seasons
Jonathan Weaver, Midwestern Regional Climate Center, Champaign, IL; and B. L. Hall
3:15 PM
Identifying the Relationships between Mortality and Heat Stress Indices across North Carolina
Jordan J. Clark, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; and C. E. Konrad
3:30 PM
Quantifying the Number of Heat-Related Deaths in the United States: An Estimate for 297 Populous Counties
Kate R. Weinberger, School of Public Health, Brown Univ., Providence, RI; and D. A. Harris, K. R. Spangler, A. Zanobetti, and G. A. Wellenius
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