Climatic Change

, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp 437–453 | Cite as

Declining impacts of hot spells on mortality in the Czech Republic, 1986–2009: adaptation to climate change?

  • Jan Kyselý
  • Eva Plavcová


The study examines temporal changes in mortality associated with spells of large positive temperature anomalies (hot spells) in extended summer season in the population of the Czech Republic (Central Europe) during 1986–2009. Declining trends in the mortality impacts are found in spite of rising temperature trends. The finding remains unchanged if possible confounding effects of within-season acclimatization to heat and the mortality displacement effect are taken into account. Recent positive socioeconomic development, following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, and better public awareness of heat-related risks are likely the primary causes of the declining vulnerability. The results suggest that climate change may have relatively little influence on heat-related deaths, since changes in other factors that affect vulnerability of the population are dominant instead of temperature trends. It is essential to better understand the observed nonstationarity of the temperature-mortality relationship and the role of adaptation and its limits, both physiological and technological, and to address associated uncertainties in studies dealing with climate change projections of temperature-related mortality.


Heat Wave Excess Mortality Human Development Index Warming Trend Climate Change Impact Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The study was supported by the Czech Science Foundation under project 205/07/J044 and, during revisions, P209/11/1985. Data were kindly provided by the Institute of Health Information and Statistics and the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. Thanks are due to B.Kříž and J.Kynčl, National Institute of Public Health, and L.Pokorná and A.Urban, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, for preparing mortality datasets, and to P.Skalák, Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, for preparing meteorological data. Comments of 2 reviewers helped to improve the original manuscript in several important points. Data for 2007–2009, used to supplement the analysis during revisions, were obtained under project 205/07/1254.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Atmospheric Physics AS CRPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of Atmospheric Physics AS CRPrague 4Czech Republic

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