Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 2:15 PM
Room 6B (Austin Convention Center)
Extreme heat is a leading cause of weather-related human mortality in many countries world-wide. As global warming patterns continue, researchers anticipate increases in the severity, frequency and duration of extreme heat events. Many cities may have amplified vulnerability to extreme heat due to urban heat island and rapidly evolving socioeconomic fabric. This raises a series of questions about the increased health risks of urban residents to extreme heat, and about effective means of heat hazard mitigation and climate adaptation. In this presentation, we will introduce a NASA-funded project aimed at addressing these questions via the System for Integrated Modeling of Metropolitan Extreme Heat Risk (SIMMER). We will emphasize the multidisciplinary aspects of the project, highlight the partnership between the SIMMER research team and the public health stakeholders, and discuss how the urban modeling experiments, together with the remotely sensed data, land surface and population characteristics support the comprehensive analysis of societal vulnerability and adaptive capacity to extreme heat health outcomes. We will also present results of the household and stakeholder surveys, conducted in Houston, Texas in 2011 and 2012, on vulnerability and adaptive capacity to extreme heat. This presentation will demonstrate that local-level assessments are necessary to understand the complex interplay between the social and physical dimensions of extreme heat and to improve heat-health outcomes.
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