Theses Doctoral

Temperature and Mortality in New York City: Past, Present and Future

Petkova, Elisaveta P.

The complex interplay between climate change, demographics and socioeconomic conditions is transforming the global environmental health landscape. In the aftermath of recent heat waves around the world, especially the 2003 heat wave in Europe, heat is being recognized as an emerging public health issue worldwide, particularly in urban areas.
This work explores the historical and future heat-related mortality in New York City, from the beginning of the 20th until the end of the 21st century. New York City is among the largest cities in the world and has been a thriving metropolis over the entire period covered by this study. The unique makeup of the city makes it particularly suitable for studying the impacts of heat over an extended period of time. The presented work encompasses multiple domains of knowledge and illustrates the necessity for applying highly interdisciplinary approaches in addressing the emerging challenges of our time.
The background chapter provides an overview of methodological approaches and findings from previous studies with direct relevance to the specific aims of this work. Chapter I is focused on characterizing the impacts of heat on daily mortality since 1900. Here, heat effects are presented in a historical context and changes over time are analyzed and discussed. Chapter II provides a comparative assessment of recent historical and heat impacts until 2100 in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. This analysis illustrates the differences and similarities between heat impacts in New York City and the other two major urban areas in the U.S. Northeast. Chapter III provides a more comprehensive assessment of future heat-related mortality in New York City under a number of adaptation, climate change and demographic scenarios. The concluding chapter presents a summary of findings and recommendations for future research.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Environmental Health Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Kinney, Patrick L.
Dr.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
June 26, 2017