Skip to main content

Effects of heat waves on daily excess mortality in 14 Korean cities during the past 20 years (1991–2010): an application of the spatial synoptic classification approach

Abstract

The aims of this study are to explore the “offensive” summer weather types classified under the spatial synoptic classification (SSC) system and to evaluate their impacts on excess mortality in 14 Korean cities. All-cause deaths per day for the entire population were examined over the summer months (May–September) of 1991–2010. Daily deaths were standardized to account for long-term trends of subcycles (annual, seasonal, and weekly) at the mid-latitudes. In addition, a mortality prediction model was constructed through multiple stepwise regression to develop a heat–health warning system based on synoptic climatology. The result showed that dry tropical (DT) days during early summer caused excess mortality due to non-acclimatization by inhabitants, and moist tropical (MT) plus and double plus resulted in greater spikes of excess mortality due to extremely hot and humid conditions. Among the 14 Korean cities, highly excess mortality for the elderly was observed in Incheon (23.2%, 95%CI 5.6), Seoul (15.8%, 95%CI 2.6), and Jeonju (15.8%, 95%CI 4.6). No time lag effect was observed, and excess mortality gradually increased with time and hot weather simultaneously. The model showed weak performance as its predictions were underestimated for the validation period (2011–2015). Nevertheless, the results clearly revealed the efficiency of relative and multiple-variable approaches better than absolute and single-variable approaches. The results indicate the potential of the SSC as a suitable system for investigating heat vulnerability in South Korea, where hot summers could be a significant risk factor.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Botelho J, Catarino J, Carreira M, Calado R, Nogueira J, Eleonora JP, Falcão MJ (2004) The heat wave of August 2003: its effects on the mortality of the Portuguese population. Direccao Geral da Saúde e Inst. Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge

  2. Diaz J, García-Herrera R, Trigo RM, Linares C, Valente MA, De Miguel JM, Hernández E (2006) The impact of the summer 2003 heat wave in Iberia: how should we measure it? Int J Biometeorol 50(3):159–166. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-005-0005-8

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Ebi KL, Teisberg TJ, Kalkstein LS, Robinson L, Weiher LH (2004) Heat watch/warning systems save lives: estimated costs and benefits for Philadelphia 1995–1998. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 85(8):1067–1074. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-85-8-1067

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Field CB, Mortsch LD, Brklacich M, Forbes DL, Kovacs P, Patz JA, Running SW, Scott MJ (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 617–652

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ghaemi NS (2016) A clinician’s guide to statistics and epidemiology in mental health: measuring truth and uncertainty. Cambridge Medicine, ISBN-13: 978–0521709583, 335pp

  6. Greene JS, Kalkstein LS, Kim KR, Choi YJ, Lee DG (2016) The application of the European heat wave of 2003 to Korean cities to analyze impacts on heat-related mortality. Int J Biometeorol 60(2):231–243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-015-1020-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Grynszpan D (2004) Lessons from the French heatwave. Lancet 362:1169–1170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Guest CS, Wilson K, Woodward A, Hennessy K, Kalkstein LS, Skinner C, McMichael AJ (1999) Climate and mortality in Australia: retrospective study, 1970–1990 and predicted impacts in five major cities in 2030. Clim Res 13:1–15. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr013001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Honda Y, Masaji O, Akihiko S, Iwao U (1998) Shift of the short-term temperature–mortality relationship by a climate factor—some evidence necessary to take account of in estimating the health effect of global warming. J Risk Res 1(3):209–220. https://doi.org/10.1080/136698798377132

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hondula DM, Vanos JK, Gosling SN (2014) The SSC: a decade of climate–health research and future directions. Int J Biometorol. 58(2):109–120. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-012-0619-6

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kalkstein LS (1991) A new approach to evaluate the impact of climate on human mortality. Environ Health Perspect 96:145–150. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.9196145

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Kalkstein LS, Nichols MC, Barthel CD, Greene JS (1996) A new spatial synoptic classification: application to air-mass analysis. Int J Climatol 16(9):983–1004. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199609)16:9<983::AID-JOC61>3.0.CO;2-N

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kalkstein LS, Greene JS, Mills D, Perrin A, Samenow J, Cohen JC (2008) Analog European heat waves for U.S. cities to analyze impacts on heat-related mortality. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 89(1):75–86. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-89-1-75

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kassomenos PA, Gryparis A, Katsouyanni K (2007) On the association between daily mortality and air mass types in Athens, Greece during winter and summer. Int J Biometeorol 51(4):315–322. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-006-0062-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kim H, Ha JS, Park J (2006a) High temperature, heat index, and mortality in 6 major cities in South Korea. Arch Environ Occup Health 61(6):265–270. https://doi.org/10.3200/AEOH.61.6.265-270

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kim J, Lee DG, Park IS, Choi BC, Kim JS (2006b) Influences of heat waves on daily mortality in South Korea. Atmosphere 16(4):269–278

    Google Scholar 

  17. Kim J, Lee DG, Choi BC, (2007a) Lessons from the drought in summer of 1994: human biometeorological impacts. The 6th International Symposium on Asian Monsoon System (ISAM6), December, Fukuoka, Japan

  18. Kim J, Lee DG, Choi BC, Park IS (2007b) Synoptic air mass classification using cluster analysis and relation to daily mortality in Seoul, South Korea. Atmosphere 17(1):45–53

    Google Scholar 

  19. Kim J, Kim KR, Choi BC, Lee DG, Kim JS (2009a) Regional distribution of perceived temperature estimated by the human heat budget model (the Klima-Michel model) in South Korea. Adv Atmos Sci 26(2):275–282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-009-0275-x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Kim J, Lee DG, Kysely J (2009b) Characteristics of heat acclimatization for major Korean cities. Atmosphere 19(4):309–318

    Google Scholar 

  21. Klinenberg E (2002) Heat wave: a social autopsy of disaster in Chicago. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226026718.001.0001

    Book  Google Scholar 

  22. Koppe C, Jendritzky G (2005) Inclusion of short-term adaptation to thermal stresses in a heat load warning procedure. Meteorol Z 14(2):271–278. https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2005/0030

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Kysely J (2004) Mortality and displaced mortality during heat waves in the Czech Republic. Int J Biometeorol 49(2):91–97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-004-0218-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Kysely J, Kim J (2009) Mortality during heat waves in South Korea, 1991 to 2005: how exceptional was the 1994 heat wave? Int J Climatol 38:105–116

    Google Scholar 

  25. Kysely J, Huth R, Kim J (2009) Evaluating heat-related mortality in Korea by objective classification of ‘air masses’. Int J Climatol 30:1484–1501

    Google Scholar 

  26. Lee DG, Kim J, Choi BC (2007) Characteristics of daily mortality due to heat waves in Busan in July 1994. Atmosphere 17(4):463–470

    Google Scholar 

  27. Lee DG, Choi YJ, Kim KR, Byon JY, Kalkstein LS, Sheridan SC (2010) Development of heat-health warning system based on regional properties between climate and human health. J Clim Change Res 1(2):109–120

    Google Scholar 

  28. Lerchl A (1998) Changes in the seasonality of mortality in Germany from 1946 to 1995: the role of temperature. Int J Biometeorol 42(2):84–88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004840050089

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Matzarakis A, Muthers S, Koch E (2011) Human biometeorological evaluation of heat-related mortality in Vienna. Theor Appl Climatol 105(1-2):1–10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-010-0372-x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. McMichael AJ, Campbell-Lendrum DH, Corvalan CF, Ebi KL, Githeki A, Scheraga JD, Woodward A (2003) Climate change and human health: risks and responses. World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization, and United Nations Environment Programme, 322pp

  31. McGregor GR (1999) Winter ischaemic heart disease in Birmingham, United Kimdom: a synoptic climatological analysis. Clim Res 13:17–31. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr013017

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. McGregor GR, Watkin HA, Cox M (2004) Relationships between the seasonality of temperature and ischaemic heart disease mortality: implication for climate based health forecasting. Clim Res 25:256–263

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Meehl GA, Tebaldi C (2004) More intense, more frequent and longer lasting heat waves in the 21st century. Science 305(5686):994–997. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1098704

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Nakai S, Itoh T, Morimoto T (1999) Deaths from heat-stroke in Japan: 1968–1994. Int J Biometeorol 43(3):124–127. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004840050127

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Park CK, Shubert SD (1997) On the nature of the 1994 East Asian summer drought. J Clim 10(5):1056–1070. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(1997)010<1056:OTNOTE>2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Shaposhnikov D, Revich B, Bellander T, Bedada GB, Bottai M, Kharkova T, Kvasha E, Lezina E, Lind T, Semutnikova E, Pershagen G (2014) Mortality related to air pollution with the Moscow heat wave and wildfire of 2010. Epidemiology 25(3):359–364. https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000000090

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Sheridan SC (2000) The redevelopment of an air-mass classification scheme for North America, with applications to climate trends and teleconnections, Dissertation on Ph. D., University of Delaware, 308pp

  38. Sheridan SC (2002) The redevelopment of a weather-type classification scheme for North America. Int J Climatol 22(1):51–68. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.709

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Sheridan SC, Kalkstein LS (2004) Progress in heat watch-warning system technology. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 85(12):1931–1941

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Smoyer KE, Kalkstein LS, Greene JS, Ye H (2000) The impacts of weather and pollution on human mortality in Birmingham, Alabama and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Int J Climatol 20(8):881–897. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0088(20000630)20:8<881::AID-JOC507>3.0.CO;2-V

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Steadman RG (1979a) The assessment of sultriness. Part 1: a temperature-humidity index based on physiology and clothing science. J Appl Meteorol 18(7):861–873. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450(1979)018<0861:TAOSPI>2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Steadman RG (1979b) The assessment of sultriness. Part 2: effects of wind, extra radiation and barometric pressure on apparent temperature. J Appl Meteorol 18(7):874–885. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450(1979)018<0874:TAOSPI>2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Tan J, Kalkstein LS, Huang J, Lin S, Yin H, Shao D (2004) An operational heat/health warning system in Shanghai. Int. J. Biometorol. 48(3):157–162. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-003-0193-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Tan J, Youfei Z, Guixiang S, Kalkstein LS, Kalkstein AJ, Tang X (2007) Heat wave impacts on mortality in Shanghai, 1998 and 2003. Int J Biometorol 51:193–200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Toloo G, Gerard F, Peter A, Kenneth V, Shilu T (2013) Are heat warning systems effective? Environ Health 12(1):27. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-12-27

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Trigo RM, García R, Díaz J, Trigo IF, Valente MA (2005) How exceptional was the early August 2003 heat wave in France? Geophys Res Lett 32:L10701. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005GL022410

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Whitman S, Good G, Donoghue ER, Benbow N, Shou WY, Mou SX (1997) Mortality in Chicago attributed to the July 1995 heat wave. Amer J Pub Health 87(9):1515–1518. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.87.9.1515

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. WHO (2004) Heat waves: risks and responses. Health and global environmental change. Series 2. World Health Organization

  49. Yihui D, Chan JCL (2005) The East Asian summer monsoon: an overview. Meteorog Atmos Phys 89(1-4):117–142. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00703-005-0125-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was carried out as a part of “Research and Development for KMA Weather, Climate, and Earth system Services (NIMS-2016-3100)” supported by the 2016 R&D project of KMA/National Institute of Meteorological Sciences. And we deeply appreciate to Dr. Il-Soo Park, Dr. Byoung-Choel Choi, Dr. Young-Jean Choi, and Dr. Jae-Young Byon for their helpful comments.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dae-Geun Lee.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lee, DG., Kim, K.R., Kim, J. et al. Effects of heat waves on daily excess mortality in 14 Korean cities during the past 20 years (1991–2010): an application of the spatial synoptic classification approach. Int J Biometeorol 62, 575–583 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-017-1466-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Spatial synoptic classification
  • Excess mortality
  • Heat–health warning system
  • Korea