This research is carried out by Dragan Milosevic1, Stevan Savic1, Jelena Dunjic1, Daniela Arsenovic1, Zorana Luzanin2 with funding support from the Global Disaster Preparedness Center.
Hot summers with intensive heat waves lead to strong heat-related mortality across Europe. Up to now, there have been only a limited number of studies investigating heat-related mortality in Serbia. This project filled this research gap by identifying the heat-health correlations in Serbia.
The project showed substantial changes in meteorological and bioclimatological conditions in Serbia in the past 20 years, with special reference to the increased values of air temperature and thermal comfort indices during the summer period. In addition, analyses show an increased occurrence of heat stress during summer in Serbia with extreme heat conditions occurring during the midday period throughout the country during heat wave periods.
The analysis showed that 1 °C increase in air temperature is associated with about 2% increase in crude death rate in Serbia. Furthermore, for the city of Novi Sad, statistically significant correlations were observed for minimum temperatures and all-cause hospital admission subgroups with a negative value, and maximum temperatures and hospital admissions in the population below 65 with a positive value. In other words, the number of hospital admissions increased by 1.0% due to a 1 °C increase in maximum temperatures in the city of Novi Sad, Serbia. According to the obtained results, it can be concluded that the health risks are not only associated with long and intensive heat wave periods, but also with the sudden changes of weather conditions when temperatures fluctuate significantly between neighboring days. Therefore, further steps in the research should take into account daily weather changes (synoptic conditions) in addition to the analysis of heat wave periods. This type of more detailed “climate – population health” assessments could help emergency services and local or regional disaster management authorities create more adaptive solutions and guidelines and contribute to the prevention of public health problems in cities.
- Chair of Geoecology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
- Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia