Green spaces, air pollution, and climate-related heat mortality in Latin American cities
A changing climate and increased urbanization are likely to intensify the health impacts of future heat waves. Using a unique database covering more than 250 cities in seven Latin American countries, we use historical data to examine the mortality consequences of past extreme heat events and whether green spaces and air pollution ameliorate or exacerbate those effects.
Then, we project how mortality of urban residents will change as heat events increase under high and low global emissions scenarios for the midcentury (2050). We also project how mortality will vary with different levels of air pollution and green spaces in these cities. Our results will help decision-makers, first-responders, practitioners, researchers, and individuals understand the health impacts of climate change and potential interventions to avert them. The high level of urbanization, inequality, and high exposure to increased heat waves make Latin America a unique setting to conduct this research.