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Lee, Myong-In
Climate-Environment Modeling Lab
Research Interests
  • Climate Change, Seasonal Prediction, Extreme Weather, Aerosol

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Population ageing determines changes in heat vulnerability to future warming

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Title
Population ageing determines changes in heat vulnerability to future warming
Author
Park, Chang-EuiJeong, SujongHarrington, Luke J.Lee, Myong-InZheng, Chunmiao
Issue Date
2020-11
Publisher
IOP PUBLISHING LTD
Citation
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, v.15, no.11, pp.114043
Abstract
Population ageing, an increase in the older age group's portion of the total population, worsens the heat tolerance of a society. However, impacts of ageing on the social exposure to projected unprecedented hot summers (UHSs) are uncertain. We show that a shifting of the population distribution towards older ages amplifies the vulnerability of a country to the increasing frequency of UHSs as a result of warming during 2040-2070, especially in most populated regions such as China, India, and sub-Saharan countries. The warming scenarios from Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 are combined with population scenarios from three Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) SSP2, SSP3, and SSP5 together to estimate the exposure to UHSs. The ageing-driven increase in the exposure of elderly to UHSs ranges 51-198, 91-261, and 47-156 million in China, India, and sub-Saharan countries, respectively, between population scenarios. In China, with decreasing total population, the exposure to UHSs will be increased by rapid population ageing. In India and sub-Saharan countries, the potential of ageing to raise the exposure to UHSs will be even larger than that of warming. In contrast, in aged societies with slow ageing trend, e.g. United States and Europe, the warming mainly increases the exposure to UHSs. Our results suggest the changing age structure could exacerbate a country's heat vulnerability despite limiting warming to a certain level in the future.
URI
https://scholarworks.unist.ac.kr/handle/201301/49029
URL
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abbd60
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/abbd60
ISSN
1748-9326
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