Vulnerability information

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The vulnerability information provided here based on a basic traffic light-like ranking with three categories: 'high vulnerability' (+++), 'moderate vulnerability' (++) and 'low vulnerability' (+) is qualitative, not normalized and unweighted. For that reason no final assessment of vulnerability is done. Additionally, vulnerability characterizations colored in grey are not in the scope of this study but relevant for the specific problem. For details on the vulnerability assessment concept, methodology and classification systems please refer to the complete report attached at the bottom of the page, as well as to the deliverable D11.2 of EUPORIAS ("White paper on sector specific vulnerabilities"), which can be found at here.

Vulnerability characterisation

Referring to the analysis of the critical situation, decision-making processes and critical climate conditions, two different vulnerabilities can be identified (see the attachment below).

Vulnerability to extreme temperatures (weather scale). The critical situation is characterized by the need of medical assistance due to heat-health effects. Related decision-making processes imply warning of the general public and short-term preparation of health services. Critical climate conditions are short-term extreme temperatures.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: couple of hours to days

  • Temporal scope for climate information: 1-3 days

Vulnerability to heat waves (S2D scale). The critical situation is characterized by the number of people requiring coevally heat-health services exceeding the capacity of health services. Related decision-making processes imply the planning and organization of the health system with respect to longer-term exceptional situations and extreme events. Critical climate conditions are prolonged heat spells. The temporal category of this vulnerability has yet to be defined.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: > 5 days in a row

  • Temporal scope for climate information: up to 6 months

Vulnerability assessment for S2D-vulnerability

Climate-impact type (++)(+++): the ‘climate impact type’ can be classified as ‘statistical climate impact’: heat-health-related coping generally occurs short-term. However, prolonged heat waves and related health-effects may exceed the capacity of the local health-system when too many people require health assistance at the same time. The exact timing of health-assistance need is not critical as long the capacity is not exceeded. Information on mean temperatures during the rainy season is helpful at which information on extreme values and their temporal distribution (i.e. heat spells) would be desired.

However, since decision lead-times are relative long compared to critical climate conditions this problem may get the character of a ‘decision-conditioned (pseudo) climate impact type’ if no robust coping is desired. This is technical very challenging (or even impossible) to predict and accompanied with great uncertainties.

Role of climate (++): the role of climate is that of a hazard since the impact is destructive by affecting health and life and is thus general negative. The consequences are generally negative and coping measures may help to mitigate but hardly to prevent the impact.

Priority of scale (+): decision-making processes on a mid-term scale (sub-seasonal) are of secondary importance. Short-term medical assistance and long-term facilitation of the medical system has greater relevance.

Success criteria (+++): the success criteria to preserve health and life and has an ethical character which is of interest for society.

About

CMTool is a climate driven mortality prediction tool, which aims to strengthen public health decision making ahead of extreme temperature events, such as heat waves and cold snaps across Europe.