Geographic variation in impacts of heat exposure on human health

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The average ambient temperature has been rising substantially, accompanied by increasing frequency and intensity of extreme heat events. Numerous studies have shown that the health impacts of heat exposure do not equally distribute across the world but are more substantial for some specific areas. In this chapter, we searched related literature to overview this research issue in the current world as well as in the future. We found that the geographic variation in heat effects existed at the global level and country/region level, which did not strictly follow the hypothesis that individuals living in cold/high-latitude regions might be more vulnerable than those in hot/low-latitude regions. The geographic variation in heat effects may be modified by other climatic, demographic, socioeconomic, and infrastructure factors, such as the income per capita and the prevalence of air conditioning. By the end of this century, heat effects on mortality are projected to be greatest in Southeast Asia and Southern Europe while lowest in Northern Europe, Australia, East Asia, and North America. Considering the unbalanced global warming, more specific health promotion strategies should be developed for vulnerable countries and regions against heat exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeat Exposure and Human Health in the Context of Climate Change
EditorsYuming Guo, Shanshan Li
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780128190807
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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