University of Innsbruck

ACINN Graduate Seminar - SS 2023

2023-06-14 at 12:00 (on-line and on-site)

Towards climate services for extreme heat and heat stress: from global to local scale

Ana Casanueava

Meteorology Group, Dpt. Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain


Extreme heat and heat stress are considered as primary climate hazards in large parts of the world due to global warming. Accordingly, national services and international panels are currently focusing on the development of climate services devoted to heat. However, global climate models, which are the main tools to quantify future climate changes, present systematic biases and are too coarsely resolved to be used directly by the impact communities and stakeholders. This presentation will show how heat is addressed from different perspectives, from global to national levels, by making use of state-of-the-art global and regional climate simulations, together with bias adjustment methods.

First, global projections of extreme heat are one of the products of the IPCC Interactive Atlas (, which was developed for the Sixth Assessment Report and builds upon the largest available ensemble of global and regional climate simulations to date. We found that bias adjustment can lead to more plausible climate change projections of extreme heat. However, more detailed (downscaled) information is usually needed by stakeholders and policymakers. Under the framework of the Horizon 2020 HEAT-SHIELD project, local climate change projections of heat stress (combination of temperature and humidity) were developed and served to quantify economic and productivity losses due to heat in European regions and specific locations. On a national level, the latest Swiss climate change scenarios (CH2018) considered for the first time a multi-variate climate index (a heat stress index, namely the wet bulb temperature) and climate analogs were used as a tool to identify places with recently experienced heat stress conditions similar to the future projections of main Swiss cities.




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