Investigating Co-Variability Between Mortality and Slow Atmospheric Oscillations

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 1:30 PM
226AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Augustin Vintzileos, University of Maryland/Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, Camp Springs, MD; and S. C. Sheridan, C. C. Lee, J. Gottschalck, and M. Halpert

In this paper we analyze mortality data from 1975 to 2004 over several metropolitan areas of the United States in conjunction with meteorological data from the NCEP Reanalysis-1 to investigate links between weather/climate and mortality. In an attempt to detect the strongest signals between mortality and climate we only consider the 75+ age group. We first detrend mortality data in order to account for the increasing number of people entering the 75+ age group. We then compute the mean annual cycle of mortality which we remove from the detrended data. We show that the resulting time series is related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Finally we present composite meteorological conditions during abnormally high summer mortality events specifically focusing on the Madden-Julian Oscillation. We conclude the presentation by discussing these links between mortality and slow atmospheric variations from the perspective of subseasonal forecasting.