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CR 30:71-78 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/cr030071

Assessing public health risk due to extremely high temperature events: climate and social parameters

Luc Vescovi1,*, Martine Rebetez2, Florian Rong1,2

1Ouranos Consortium, 550 Sherbrooke Street West, 19th Floor, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B9, Canada
2WSL Swiss Federal Research Institute, CP 96, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

ABSTRACT: The growing recognition of the need to plan institutional responses to the effects of climate change makes it essential to develop research support strategies and tools not only at global but also at regional scales. This paper analyses the feasibility and potential of a risk assessment framework for studies of regional impact of and adaptation to climate change. We assess the potential impact of high temperature events on humans in southern Quebec. We integrate climate variables and socio-economic parameters via a geographic information system (GIS) tool to produce maps of estimated present and future public health risk. A comparison of risk maps for present and future conditions shows that the number of locations where population will be at threat due to high temperature events will dramatically increase in Quebec over the next few decades.

KEY WORDS: Public health risk · High temperature events · Southern Quebec

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