Heat Waves, the New Normal: Summertime Temperature Extremes Will Impact Animals, Ecosystems, and Human Communities

A consequence of climate change is the increased frequency and severity of extreme heat waves. This is occurring now as most of the warmest summers and most intense heat waves ever recorded have been during the past decade. In this review, I describe the ways in which animals and human populations are likely to respond to increased extreme heat, suggest how to study those responses, and reflect on the importance of those studies for countering the devastating impacts of climate change.

Marine Heat Wave and Multiple Stressors Tip Bull Kelp Forest to Sea Urchin Barrens

Extreme climatic events have recently impacted marine ecosystems around the world, including foundation species such as corals and kelps. Here, we describe the rapid climate-driven catastrophic shift in 2014 from a previously robust kelp forest to unproductive large-scale urchin barrens in northern California. Bull kelp canopy was reduced by >90% along more than 350 km of coastline. Twenty years of kelp ecosystem surveys reveal the timing and magnitude of events, including mass mortalities of sea stars (2013-), intense ocean warming (2014–2017), and sea urchin barrens (2015-).

Climate Change Influences on Environment as a Determinant of Indigenous Health: Relationships to Place, Sea Ice, and Health in an Inuit Community

This paper contributes to the literature on Indigenous health, human dimensions of climate change, and place-based dimensions of health by examining the role of environment for Inuit health in the context of a changing climate. We investigated the relationship between one key element of the environment – sea ice – and diverse aspects of health in an Inuit community in northern Canada, drawing on population health and health geography approaches. We used a case study design and participatory and collaborative approach with the community of Nain in northern Labrador, Canada.

Marine Heatwave Stress Test of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Alaska Pacific Cod Fishery

In 2014–2016 an unprecedented warming event in the North Pacific Ocean triggered changes in ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) impacting fisheries management. The marine heatwave was noteworthy in its geographical extent, depth range, and persistence, with evidence of shifts in species distribution and reduced productivity. In 2017 a groundfish survey indicated that GOA Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) had experienced a 71% decline in abundance from the previous 2015 survey.

Climate Adaptation in Cities: What Trees are Suitable for Urban Heat Management?

Vegetative enhancement in the form of tree planting has been found to be a highly effective strategy for cooling urban environments, yet as cities continue to warm, the suitability of urban environments for some tree species is changing with shifting hardiness zones. Trees are assigned to hardiness zones, which are based on the average annual minimum temperature that a species can thrive. In recent decades, human induced global warming has shifted the location of hardiness zones across the United States.

The Influence of Extreme Heat on Police and Fire Department Services in 23 U.S. Cities

Recent research suggests that extreme heat affects the demand for emergency services, including police and fire department incidents. Yet there is limited understanding of impacts across U.S. cities, with varying population sizes, and between different climates. This study sought to examine the daily utilization of police and fire department services, during hot days in 23 U.S. cities representing six climate zones using relative risk (RR) and time-series analyses of daily police and fire department incidents.

Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change on Plant Productivity and Ecosystem Sustainability

Climate change exerts adverse effects on crop production. Plant researchers have therefore focused on the identification of solutions that minimize the negative impacts of climate change on crops. This Special Issue comprises 23 articles that celebrate the 2020 International Year of Plant Health, highlighting the processes, mechanisms, and traits that will underpin future sustainability of crop quality and yield. These articles critically evaluate recent advances in our understanding of climate change impacts on plants, within the context of climate-smart agriculture.

Adaptation to Climate Change: A Comparative Analysis of Modeling Methods for Heat-Related Mortality

BACKGROUND: Multiple methods are employed for modeling adaptation when projecting the impact of climate change on heat-related mortality. The sensitivity of impacts to each is unknown because they have never been systematically compared. In addition, little is known about the relative sensitivity of impacts to “adaptation uncertainty” (i.e., the inclusion/exclusion of adaptation modeling) relative to using multiple climate models and emissions scenarios.

How are Healthy, Working Populations Affected by Increasing Temperatures in the Tropics? Implications for Climate Change Adaptation Policies

Climate change and land use change are increasing average and extreme temperatures. Hotter temperatures can detrimentally affect workers’ health and their economic productivity and livelihoods, especially in rural areas in industrializing countries that may be more vulnerable and less resilient. A growing literature has examined these factors at large spatial scales, yet few studies have done so at finer scales.