Evaluating the Present and Future Heat Stress Conditions in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg


Junk J., Sulis M., Trebs I., Torres-Matallana J.A.


Atmosphere, vol. 15, n° 1, art. no. 112, 2024


The impact of elevated air temperature and heat stress on human health is a global concern. It not only affects our well-being directly, but also reduces our physical work capacity, leading to negative effects on society and economic productivity. Climate change has already affected the climate in Luxembourg and, based on the results of regional climate models, extreme heat events will become more frequent and intense in the future. To assess historical conditions, the micro-scaleRayManPro 3.1 model was used to simulate the thermal stress levels for different genders and age classes based on hourly input data spanning the last two decades. For the assessment of future conditions, with a special emphasis on heat waves, a multi-model ensemble of regional climate models for different emission scenarios taken from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) was used. For both, the past and future conditions in Luxemburg, an increase in the heat stress levels was observed. Small differences for different age groups and genders became obvious. In addition to the increase in the absolute number of heat waves, an intensification of higher temperatures and longer durations were also detected. Although some indications of the adaptation to rising air temperatures can be observed for high-income countries, our results underscore the likelihood of escalating heat-related adverse effects on human health and economic productivity unless more investments are made in research and risk management strategies.



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