Potential overall heat exposure reduction associated with implementation of heat mitigation strategies in Los Angeles

Abstract

We analyzed two historical extreme heat events in Los Angeles to explore the potential of increasing vegetative cover and surface solar reflectance (albedo) to reduce total exposure (indoor and outdoor) to dangerously hot conditions. We focus on three population subgroups, the elderly, office workers, and outdoor workers, and explore the extreme case where each subgroup does not have functioning air conditioning in their residences. For each heat event, we conducted atmospheric model simulations for a control case and four mitigation cases with varying levels of increased albedo and vegetation cover. Simultaneously, we conducted building simulations of representative residential buildings that lacked mechanical air conditioning. These simulations factored in both the indirect cooling effects associated with neighborhood implementation of mitigation strategies and the direct effects of high albedo roofing on the individual buildings. From both the atmospheric and building models, we exported hourly values of air temperature and dew point temperature, and used this information in combination with various scenarios of occupant behavior to create profiles of individual heat exposure. We also gathered heat-mortality data for the two heat events and developed a synoptic climatology-based relationship between exposure and excess mortality. This relationship was then applied to the scenarios in which albedo and canopy cover were increased. The results suggest that improvements in indoor thermal conditions are responsible for a sizable portion of the health benefit of large-scale implementation of heat mitigation strategies.

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

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. [CDC] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013) Heat illness and deaths--New York City, 2000-2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 62:617–621

    Google Scholar 

  2. [NCHS] National Center for Health Statistics (2018) National Vital Statistics System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://web.archive.org/web/20181127154514/https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm Accessed 27 Nov. 2018

  3. Akbari H, Rosenfeld AH, Taha H (1990) Summer heat islands, urban trees, and white surfaces. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report LBL-28308

  4. Baniassadi A, DSailor DJ, Crank PJ, Ban-Weiss GA (2018) Direct and indirect effects of high-albedo roofs on energy consumption and thermal comfort of residential buildings. Energy Build 178(1):71–83

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chen F, Kusaka H, Bornstein R, Ching J, Grimmond CSB, Grossman-Clarke S, Loridan T, Manning KW, Martilli A, Miao S, Sailor D, Salamanca FP, Taha H, Tewari M, Wang X, Wyszogrodzki AA, Zhang C (2011) The integrated WRF/urban modeling system: development, evaluation, and applications to urban environmental problems. Int J Climatol 31:273–288

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Crawley DB, Lawrie LK, Winkelmann FC, Buhl WF, Huang YJ, Pedersen CO, Strand RK, Liesen RJ, FIsher DE, Witte MJ, Glazer M (2001) EnergyPlus: Creating a new-generation building energy simulation program. Energy and Buildings 33:319–331

  7. Fouillet A, Rey G, Laurent F, Pavillon G, Bellec S, Ghihenneuc-Jouyaux C, Clavel J, Jougla E, Hemon D (2006) Excess mortality related to the August 2003 heat wave in France. Int J Occup Environ Health 80:16–24

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Garcetti E (2019) L.A.’s Green New Deal: Sustainable City pLAn, 151pp. https://plan.lamayor.org/. Accessed 28 May 2020

  9. Hildebrandt EW, Bos W, Moore R (1998) Assessing the impacts of white roofs on building energy loads. ASHRAE Trans 104:810

    Google Scholar 

  10. Homer CG, Dewitz JA, Yang L, Jin S, Danielson P, Xian G, Coulston J, Herold ND, Wickham JD, Megown K (2015) Completion of the 2011 National Land Cover Database for the conterminous United States-representing a decade of land cover change information. Photogramm Eng Remote Sens 81(5):345–354

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kaiser R, Le Tertre A, Schwartz J, Gotway CA, Daley WR, Rubin CH (2007) The effect of the 1995 heat wave in Chicago on all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Am J Public Health 97(Suppl 1):S158–S162

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Kalkstein AJ, Kalkstein LS, Vanos JK, Eisenman DP, Dixon PG (2018) Heat/mortality sensitivities in Los Angeles during winter: a unique phenomenon in the United States. Environ Health 17:1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kalkstein LS, Klink F, Shickman K, Schneider S, Egolf M, Sailor D (2019) The potential impact of cool roof technologies upon heat wave meteorology and human health in Boston and Chicago. In: Roofing research and standards development, vol 9th. ASTM International, pp 1–27

  14. King WJ, Klassen TP, LeBlanc J, Bernard-Bonnin AC, Robitaille Y, Coyle D, Tenenbein M, Pless IB (2001) The effectiveness of a home visit to prevent childhood injury. Pediatrics 108(2):382–388

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Klepeis NE, Nelson WC, Ott WR, Robinson JP, Tsang AM, Switzer P, Behar JV, Hern SC, Engelmann WH (2001) The national human activity pattern survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol 11(3):231–252

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Krayenhoff ES, Moustaoui M, Broadbent AM, Gupta V, Georgescu M (2018) Diurnal interaction between urban expansion, climate change and adaptation in us cities. Nat Clim Chang 8:1097–1103

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Kuras ER, Hondula DM, Brown-Saracino J (2015) Heterogeneity in individually experienced temperatures (IETs) within an urban neighborhood: insights from a new approach to measuring heat exposure. Int J Biometeorol 59(10):1363–1372

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Kuras ER, Richardson MB, Calkins MM, Ebi KL, Hess JJ, Kintziger KW, Jagger MA, Middel A, Scott AA, Spector JT, Uejio CK, Vanos JK, Zaitchik BF, Gohlke JM, Hondula DM (2017) Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research. Environ Health Perspect 125(8):085001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Lee S-H, Lee K-S, Jin W-C, Song H-K (2009) Effect of an urban park on air temperature differences in a central business district area. Landsc Ecol Eng 5:183–191

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Mendon V, Lucas R, Goel S (2013) Cost-effectiveness analysis of the 2009 and 2012 IECC Residential Provisions–technical support document. U.S. Department of Energy Report PNNL-22068, 99pp https://doi.org/10.2172/1079749

  21. Morini E, Touchaei AG, Rossi F, Cotana F, Akbari H (2018) Evaluation of albedo enhancement to mitigate impacts of urban heat island in Rome (Italy) using WRF meteorological model. Urban Clim 24:551–566

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. O’Lenick CR, Wilhelmi OV, Michael R, Hayden MH, Baniassadi A, Wiedinmyer C, Monaghan AJ, Crank PJ, Sailor DJ (2019) Urban heat and air pollution: a framework for integrating population vulnerability and indoor exposure in health risk analyses. Sci Total Environ 660:715–723

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Oke TR (1976) The distinction between canopy and boundary-layer urban heat islands. Atmosphere 14(4):268–277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Pedersen CB (2015) Persons with schizophrenia migrate towards urban areas due to the development of their disorder or its prodromata. Schizophr Res 168:204–208

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Rothfusz LP (1990) The heat index equation. National Weather Service Technical Attachment (SR 90–23)

  26. Sailor DJ (1995) Simulated urban climate response to modifications in surface albedo and vegetative cover. J Appl Meteorol 34(7):1694–1704

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Sailor DJ (1998) Simulations of annual degree day impacts of urban vegetative augmentation. Atmos Environ 32(1):43–52

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Sailor DJ (2014) Risks of summertime extreme thermal conditions in buildings as a result of climate change and exacerbation of urban heat islands. Build Environ 78:81–88

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Sailor DJ, Shepherd M, Sheridan S, Stone B, Kalkstein L, Russell R, Vargo J, Andersen T (2016) Improving heat-related health outcomes in an urban environment with science-based policy. Sustainability 8(10):1–13

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Salamanca F, Martilli A, Yagüe C (2012) A numerical study of the urban heat island over Madrid during the DESIREX (2008) campaign with WRF and an evaluation of simple mitigation strategies. Int J Climatol 32:2372–2386

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Santamouris M (2014) Cooling the cities-a review of reflective and green roof mitigation technologies to fight heat island and improve comfort in urban environments. Sol Energy 103:682–703

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Semenza JC, Rubin CH, Falter KH, Selanikio JD, Flanders WD, Howe HL, Wilhelm JL (1996) Heat-related deaths during the July 1995 heat wave in Chicago. N Engl J Med 335:84–90

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Shen H, Tan H, Tzempelikos A (2011) The effect of reflective coatings on building surface temperatures, indoor environment and energy consumption—an experimental study. Energy Build 43(2–3):573–580

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Sheridan SC, Kalkstein AJ, Kalkstein LS (2009) Trends in heat-related mortality in the United States, 1975-2004. Nat Hazards 50:145–160

  36. Stone B, Vargo J, Habeeb D (2012) Managing climate change in cities: will climate action plans work? Landsc Urban Plan 107(3):263–271

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Vassos E, Agerbo E, Mors O, Pedersen CB (2016) Urban-rural differences in incidence rates of psychiatric disorders in Denmark. Br J Psychiatry 208:435–440

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to D. J. Sailor.

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(DOCX 142 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sailor, D.J., Anand, J. & Kalkstein, L. Potential overall heat exposure reduction associated with implementation of heat mitigation strategies in Los Angeles. Int J Biometeorol 65, 407–418 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-020-01954-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Heat-related health
  • Individually experienced temperatures
  • Heat exposure
  • Heat mitigation
  • Indoor environmental quality