Health- Heat and cold waves in Australia

In this case-study we will extend the excess heat factor (EHF) and excess cold factor (ECF), heatwave and coldwave indices to future climates by using available ensemble simulations of future climate projections. The comparison of ensemble climate projections and observations will advance the scientific understanding and help to communicate confidence of heatwave projections to stakeholders with respect to climate change adaptation.


Issue to be addressed

Heatwaves and their projected changes under enhanced greenhouse warming are of particular interest in Australia, where they affect many sectors (health, agriculture, transport, energy, tourism, etc.). Recent results warrant concern over the potential for increased incidence of heatwaves in Australia, noting that further research would be needed to extend this work nationally and refine it to enhance our understanding of the likely extent of future heat events.

Decision support to client

State Health Services and State Emergency Services (and others) are seeking to implement these results into their strategies for mitigating increased number and duration of heatwaves in particular.

Temporal and spatial scale

The temporal scale of foremost interest is in the 5-20 year range with long-term planning also needing to understand uncertainties on the 50+ year time scale.

The special scale is significantly large because the state of NSW covers a large area. The main urban area is Sydney and surrounding areas, although there are several other cities in NSW.

Knowledge brokering

We have presented the project objectives to the client. Our meetings with the clients are predominantly over telecom and we had so far 2 meetings. We plan to continue to communicate with and update regularly the client about the status of the project.

We endeavor to take their feedback on the usefulness of the results into account and their suggestions. A stakeholder/user interaction workshop could be organized, however, the present funding does not support this activity and can be taken if extra funds are available for this purpose.

Climate Research Section, Bureau of Meteorology

Population and Public Health, NSW Ministry of Health

Poster displayed at the Kick–Off meeting, 7/8 September 2017, Norrköping, Sweden

More records were again broken during the 2016-17 summer