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Informing Climate Change Adaptation Planning on Health Effects of Extreme Heat Events in New Brunswick: A Population-Based Study

Category(s): Health
Status: Active
Principal: Sandra Magalhaes
Project Number: P0110
Year Approved: 2023

Project Description

An expected impact of a changing climate is an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, with the potential for devastating outcomes, especially among vulnerable populations. Extreme heat events are one type of extreme weather events and are characterized by ambient temperatures and humidex values nearing or exceeding 40°C. Extreme heat events create a hazardous environment that can result in negative health effects in the general population and in particular those with pre-existing conditions. With a rapidly aging population, a high prevalence of relevant chronic diseases and comorbidity in New Brunswick, there is a clear need for research to better understand strategies to mitigate harm for vulnerable New Brunswickers.

Heat alert systems, such as the federal Heat Alert and Response System (HARS), have been established in many jurisdictions to notify communities with the goal of mitigating negative impacts of extreme heat exposure. One of the five key components of the HARS program is evaluation that validates heat-response measures and identifies opportunities for improvement. The proposed research study is focused on enhancing understanding of HARS implementation in New Brunswick, with the goal of evaluating the dynamic relationship between extreme heat events and negative health effects and potential for green/blue space to mitigate impact. Department of Environment and Local Government (DELG), in collaboration with the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training (NB-IRDT), are proposing to conduct a research study to look at health effects of heat events in New Brunswick.