Articles | Volume 35
07 Sep 2013
 | 07 Sep 2013

Analysis of projected changes in the occurrence of heat waves in Hungary

R. Pongrácz, J. Bartholy, and E. B. Bartha

Abstract. Heat wave events are important temperature-related hazards due to their impacts on human health. In 2004, a Heat Health Warning System including three levels of heat wave warning was developed on the basis of a retrospective analysis of mortality and meteorological data in Hungary to anticipate heat waves that may result in a large excess of mortality. Projected changes in the frequency of different heat wave warning levels are analysed for the 21st century. For this purpose, outputs of regional climate model PRECIS (Providing REgional Climates for Impacts Studies) are used taking into account three different global emissions scenarios (A2, A1B, B2). The results clearly show an increase in occurrence and length of heat waves with respect to the underlying emissions scenarios and regional climate model used. Moreover, the potential season of heat wave occurrences is projected to be lengthened by two months in 2071–2100 compared to 1961–1990.