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Mendoza E.T.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Mendoza E.T.,Laboratorio Of Ingenieria Y Procesos Costeros | Jimenez J.A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Mateo J.,Servei Meteorologic de Catalonia
Natural Hazards and Earth System Science | Year: 2011

A 5-class intensity scale for wave storms in the Catalan coast is presented. This has been done by analysing a storm data set which comprises 5 buoys during the period 1988/2008. The obtained classification improves the former proposal of Mendoza and Jiménez (2008) by better resolving spatial and temporal variability in wave storms in the area. The obtained classification reflects the increase in wave storm properties as the storm category increases. Because the selected classification parameter was the energy content which implicitly contains Hs and storm duration, this variable was used to define class limits; class I storms (24-250 m2 h), class II storms (251-500 m2 h), class III (501-700 m2 h), class IV storms (701-1200 m2 h) and class V storms (>1200 m2 h). The energy content variable was also used as proxy for induced hazards; the observed increase in energy content for higher classes reflected a significant increase in the intensity of the potential hazards. Lastly, the dominant synoptic situation for wave storms along the Catalan coast was the presence of a Mediterranean cyclone although a direct correspondence on cyclone's intensity over the western Mediterranean with wave energy content was not found. © Author(s) 2011.

Basagana X.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology | Basagana X.,Municipal Institute of Medical Research IMIM Hospital Del Mar | Basagana X.,CIBER ISCIII | Sartini C.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology | And 17 more authors.
Epidemiology | Year: 2011

Background: Mortality has been shown to increase with extremely hot ambient temperatures. Details on the specific cause of mortality can be useful for improving preventive policies. Infants are often identified as a population that is vulnerable to extreme heat conditions; however, information on heat and infant mortality is scarce, with no studies reporting on cause-specific mortality. Methods: The study includes all deaths in the Catalonia region of Spain during the warm seasons of 1983-2006 (503,389 deaths). We used the case-crossover design to evaluate the association between the occurrence of extremely hot days (days with maximum temperature above the 95th percentile) and mortality. Total mortality and infant mortality were stratified into 66 and 8 causes of death, respectively. Results: Three consecutive hot days increased total daily mortality by 19%. We calculated that 1.6% of all deaths were attributable to heat. About 40% of attributable deaths did not occur during heat-wave periods. The causes of death that were increased included cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, mental and nervous system disorders, infectious and digestive system diseases, diabetes, and some external causes such as suicide. In infants, the effect of heat was observed on the same day and was detected only for conditions originating in the perinatal period (relative risk = 1.53 [95% confidence interval = 1.16-2.02]). Within the perinatal causes, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive system, and hemorrhagic and hematologic disorders were the causes of death with stronger effects. Conclusions: Heat contributes to an increase in mortality from several causes. In infants, the first week of life is the most critical window of vulnerability. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Basagana X.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology | Basagana X.,University Pompeu Fabra | Basagana X.,CIBER ISCIII | Escalera-Antezana J.P.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology | And 13 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Experimental studies have shown a decrease in driving performance at high temperatures. The epidemiological evidence for the relationship between heat and motor vehicle crashes is not consistent. OBJECTIVES: We estimated the impact of high ambient temperatures on the daily number of motor vehicle crashes and, in particular, on crashes involving driver performance factors (namely distractions, driver error, fatigue, or sleepiness). METHODS: We performed a time-series analysis linking daily counts of motor vehicle crashes and daily temperature or occurrence of heat waves while controlling for temporal trends. All motor vehicle crashes with victims that occurred during the warm period of the years 2000–2011 in Catalonia (Spain) were included. Temperature data were obtained from 66 weather stations covering the region. Poisson regression models adjusted for precipitation, day of the week, month, year, and holiday periods were fitted to quantify the associations. RESULTS: The study included 118,489 motor vehicle crashes (an average of 64.1 per day). The estimated risk of crashes significantly increased by 2.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7%, 5.1%] during heat wave days, and this association was stronger (7.7%, 95% CI: 1.2%, 14.6%) when restricted to crashes with driver performance–associated factors. The estimated risk of crashes with driver performance factors significantly increased by 1.1% (95% CI: 0.1%, 2.1%) for each 1°C increase in maximum temperature. CONCLUSIONS: Motor vehicle crashes involving driver performance-associated factors were increased in association with heat waves and increasing temperature. These findings are relevant for designing preventive plans in a context of global warming. © 2015 Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services. All rights reserved.

Rigo T.,Servei Meteorologic de Catalonia | Carmen Llasat M.,University of Barcelona
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2016

The main goal of the present paper is to propose some new criteria that will improve the diagnosis for hail at the surface in real-time, so that they can be applied to surveillance tasks and for nowcasting purposes. The criteria are based on a better knowledge of convective cells that produce hail during their life cycle and better distinguishing between these cells and cells that do not produce hail on the surface. The work focused on a region in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, selecting hail events that occurred in the 2004-2012 period and using the information provided by the Meteorological Service of Catalonia's weather radar network. The methodology deals with the analysis of the level of reflectivity associated with the maximum values, which can be considered as the core of the convective vertical development. The chosen radar parameters are operative and they take into consideration the following: the reflectivity, the vertically integrated liquid, the highest altitude at which radar echoes have been observed over a determined reflectivity threshold, as well as the direction and the duration of the convective cells. This work aims to complement all the previous work carried out by different authors, in order to better identify hail in the chosen region. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Calbo J.,University of Girona | Sanchez-Lorenzo A.,ETH Zurich | Barrera-Escoda A.,Servei Meteorologic de Catalonia | Cunillera J.,Servei Meteorologic de Catalonia
Tethys | Year: 2012

The publication of the fourth IPCC report, as well as the number of research results reported in recent years about the regionalization of climate projections, were the driving forces to justify the update of the report on climate change in Catalonia. Specifically, the new IPCC report contains new climate projections at global and continental scales, while several international projects (especially European projects PRUDENCE and ENSEMBLES) have produced continental-scale climate projections, which allow for distinguishing between European regions. For Spain, some of these results have been included in a document commissioned by the"State Agency of Meteorology". In addition, initiatives are being developed within Catalonia (in particular, by the Meteorological Service of Catalonia) to downscale climate projections in this area. The present paper synthesizes results of these and other previously published studies, as well as our own analysis of results of the ENSEMBLES project. The aim is to propose scenarios of variation in temperature and rainfall in Catalonia during the 21st Century. Thus, by the middle of this century temperatures could rise up to 2 C compared with that of the late 20th Century. These increases would probably be higher in summer than in winter, generalized across the territory but less pronounced in coastal areas. Rainfall, however, would not change much, but it could slightly decrease. Towards the end of the 21st Century, temperatures could rise to about 5 C above that of the last century, while the average rainfall could decrease by more than 10%. Increases in temperature would be higher in summer and in areas further from the coast. Rainfall would decrease especially during the summer, while it could even increase in winter in mountainous areas such as the Pyrenees. © 2012 Author(s).

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