Special Issue "Heat-Health Warnings: Bridging the Gap between Heat Forecasts and Efficient Warning Systems"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana Casanueva
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Meteorology Group, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences, University of Cantabria, 39005 Santander, Spain
Interests: heat waves; climate indices; atmospheric indices; climate change; downscaling methods
Dr. Marco Morabito
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of BioEconomy—National Research Council, 50019 Florence, Italy
Interests: biometeorology; biometeorological forecasts; Impact of weather and climate on human health and ecosystems; thermal comfort; microclimate; urban climate; heat waves; heat health warning systems
Mrs. Annkatrin Burgstall
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: heat-health warnings; heat indices; heat waves; climate change and health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental conditions inevitably affect human health and biodiversity. Hot conditions cause human discomfort and heat-induced illnesses, and they are significantly associated with the mortality of more susceptible population subgroups. These effects intensify under hot and humid environments. The continuous increase of air surface temperature and especially record-breaking heat waves such as those in summers 2003 and 2010 in Europe has motivated the rapid development of adaptation strategies, such as the improvement of heat–health warning systems. Such warning systems attempt to protect the population against environmental heat by means of a whole chain of various components: the meteorological forecast system, the metric(s) used to quantify heat conditions, the thresholds triggering the warnings, the implementation of intervention strategies, the communication of the warnings, and the evaluation and periodical revision of the whole system. The final aim of these elements is to take timely and effective actions based on a robust and reliable system, which is essential today in the era of meteorological and climate services. The Special Issue aims at covering the state-of-the-art in both the monitoring and forecasting of heat warnings as well as the development of effective and well-coordinated operative warning systems. Different time scales (i.e., from short- to mid- and long-range forecasts) pose different needs and challenges to the abovementioned components of heat–heath warning systems. Thus, contributions and reviews focusing on heat–health warnings for the general public as well as user-tailored warnings (e.g., occupational exposures) and considering a variety of time scales are welcome.

This Special Issue will provide readers with up-to-date information on heat–health warning systems, linking perspectives from heat forecasts to improved prevention and adaptation measures.

Dr. Ana Casanueva
Dr. Marco Morabito
Mrs. Annkatrin Burgstall
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Heat–health warnings
  • Heat–health action plans
  • Heat stress, forecasting
  • Climate services

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Steps Towards Comprehensive Heat Communication in the Frame of a Heat Health Warning System in Slovenia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5829; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165829 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Occupational heat stress has an important negative impact on the well-being, health and productivity of workers and should; therefore, be recognized as a public health issue in Europe. There is no comprehensive heat health warning system in Slovenia combining public health measures with [...] Read more.
Occupational heat stress has an important negative impact on the well-being, health and productivity of workers and should; therefore, be recognized as a public health issue in Europe. There is no comprehensive heat health warning system in Slovenia combining public health measures with meteorological forecasts. The aim of this research was to provide insight into the development of such a system in Slovenia, turning the communication from the current meteoalarm into a broader system that has more information for different social groups. To achieve this goal, the following steps were used: Analysis of summer temperatures and issued meteoalarms, a survey of the general knowledge about heat among the public, organization and management of two stakeholder symposia, and a final survey on workers’ opinions on heat stress and measures, supplemented by interviews with employers. Summer average daily temperature distributions in Slovenia changed during the investigated period (1961–2019) and the mean values increased over time by 2–3 °C. Additionally, the number of days with fulfilled yellow (potentially dangerous) and especially orange (dangerous) meteoalarm conditions increased significantly after 1990. The survey of the general public about heat stress and warnings showed that efforts to raise awareness of heat issues need to be intensified and that public health measures should effectively target vulnerable groups. Stakeholder symposia and further surveys have shown that awareness and understanding of the negative effects of heat stress on health and productivity are still quite low, so effective ways of disseminating information to different sectors while striking the best balance between efficiency, feasibility and economic cost have to be found. Full article
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