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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-91
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-91
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 May 2020

12 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

The contribution of air temperature and ozone to mortality rates during hot weather episodes in eight German cities during the years 2000 and 2017

Alexander Krug1,2, Daniel Fenner1, Hans-Guido Mücke2, and Dieter Scherer1 Alexander Krug et al.
  • 1Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Ecology, Chair of Climatology, 12165 Berlin, Germany
  • 2German Environment Agency, Section II 1.5 Environmental Medicine and Health Effects Assessment, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Abstract. Hot weather episodes are globally associated with increased mortality. Elevated ozone concentrations occurring simultaneously contribute to mortality during these episodes, yet to what extent both stressors are linked to increased mortality rates varies from region to region.

This study analyzes time series of observational data of air temperature and ozone concentrations for eight German cities during the years 2000 and 2017. By using an event-based risk approach, various air temperature thresholds were explored for each city to detect hot weather episodes which are statistically associated with increased mortality. Multiple linear regressions were calculated to investigate the relative contribution of air temperature and ozone concentrations to mortality rates during these episodes, including their interaction. Results were compared for their similarities and differences among the investigated cities.

In all investigated cities hot weather episodes, linked to increased mortality rates, were detected. Results of the multiple linear regression further point towards air temperature as the major stressor explaining mortality rates during these episodes by up to 60 %, and ozone concentrations by up to 20 %. The strength of this association both for air temperature and ozone varies across the investigated cities. An interactive influence was found between both stressors, underlining their close relationship. For some cities, this interactive relationship explained more of the observed variance in mortality rates than each individual stressor alone.

We could show that during hot weather episodes, not only air temperature affects urban populations. Concurrently high ozone concentrations also play an important role for public health in German cities.

Alexander Krug et al.

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Alexander Krug et al.

Alexander Krug et al.

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Short summary
This study investigates hot weather episodes in eight German cities which are statistically associated with increased mortality. Besides air temperature ozone concentrations partly explain these mortality rates. The strength of the respective contributions of the two stressors varies across the cities. Results highlight that during hot weather episodes, not only high air temperature affects urban populations; concurrently high ozone concentrations also play an important role for public health.
This study investigates hot weather episodes in eight German cities which are statistically...
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