Extreme Heat Vulnerability of the Population in Georgia, USA
thesisposted on 2019-08-01, 00:00 authored by Bakari Baker
We developed a new variable based on apparent temperature to more accurate assess the extent to which extreme heat poses a threat. This cumulative extreme heat exposure exceedance (cEHEE) matrix was calculated by introducing a threshold above which the temperatures are likely to pose a threat to the public. This new cEHEE calculation matrix resulted in the identification of significant amount of days of extreme heat exposure exceedance (EHEE) well above 95 degrees in GA. An evaluation of the usefulness of the land cover variables Urban land cover, Low urban land cover (LULC), Total Natural Land Cover (NLC) and Material land cover (MLC) was performed. Heat-related climate change is adversely affecting the people in the state of Georgia. Extreme heat conditions in Georgia are increasing the morbidity rates of the total population in GA. These indicators were compared to the age-adjusted morbidity rates per county from 2000 to 2004. The analyses were compare to the new c.EHEE variable, socio-economic variables and age-adjusted morbidity rates. In most cases the addition of the land cover variables improves performance especially in terms of Classification Failure (CF). Determining the extreme heat vulnerability of a population by utilizing the newly developed land cover and EHEE variables to the historically used socio-economic provides more accurate identification of groups that are currently vulnerable. The use of land cover also allows public health officials to more accurately predict future vulnerable populations. Our research analysis has identified several counties that have been historically more vulnerable to extreme heat conditions and will more than likely continue to be more vulnerable in the future.