Development of the Auckland Heat Vulnerability Index

Jennifer L R Joynt, Nancy Golubiewski
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) and Chief Sustainability Office
Publication date:

Executive summary (extracts)

The following work contributes to the Auckland Council Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) undertaken at Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU), and also contributes to the Auckland Climate Action Plan (ACAP).

According to projections developed by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) based on a representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5, climate change will have numerous impacts on Auckland. By the end of this century extreme heat events are predicted to increase by a factor of four. Increasing hot days pose a considerable risk to the health and well-being of the population, particularly for those either more sensitive to heat or with less capacity to adapt to their surroundings. The following work develops a heat vulnerability index (HVI) which identifies areas of increased vulnerability to heat due to the resident population’s inherent sensitivity and adaptive capacity. ...

This report illustrates the first iteration of the Auckland HVI using the best available data at the time. It is envisaged that as new data is generated, i.e. 2018 census, new vegetation cover data and more in-depth social infrastructure analysis, the HVI will be refined and improved and could potentially yield new data on the location of vulnerable sectors of the population. This tool is intended to illustrate the heterogeneity of impacts of the anticipated rise in hot days and stimulate discussion on potential adaptation strategies.

Auckland Council technical report TR2019/012

Climate Change Risk Assessment CCRA 2019 series


Climate Change Risk Assessment 2019

As communities across the world set out to plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation, they first seek to understand how climate change will affect their city, region, or country.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) has been produced by Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) in support of the Auckland Climate Action Plan (ACAP) at the request of the Chief Sustainability Office. Its aim is to provide information about the risk and vulnerabilities the Auckland region may face under a changing climate regime, which is already underway. In 2018, national climate change projections were scaled-down to produce a more specific picture of their likely effects within the Auckland region. Based on this, CCRA adopted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 (“business as usual”) scenario as its guiding projection, given the lack of evidence of any meaningful and sustained decreases in emissions that would shift to other projection pathways.

The eight reports in the CCRA consider various components of key risks – that is, hazard, exposure, and vulnerability – across sectors and systems of interest: people (heat vulnerability, climate change and air quality), society (social vulnerability and flooding), and natural environment (terrestrial and marine ecosystems), as well sea level rise at regional and local scales. A summary report has also been produced.

Titles in the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) series:

An assessment of vulnerability to climate change in Auckland. Fernandez, M. A. and N. E. Golubiewski

Development of the Auckland Heat Vulnerability Index. Joynt, J. L. R. and N. E. Golubiewski

Air quality and societal impacts from predicted climate change in Auckland. Talbot, N.

Climate change risk assessment for terrestrial species and ecosystems in the Auckland region. Bishop, C. D. and T. J. Landers 

Climate change risk assessment for Auckland’s marine and freshwater ecosystems. Foley, M. M. and M. Carbines

Flooding risk in a changing climate. Golubiewski, N. E., J. L. R. Joynt and K. Balderston

Auckland’s exposure to sea level rise: part 1 – regional inventory. Golubiewski, N. E., K. Balderston, C. Hu and J. Boyle

Auckland’s exposure to sea level rise: part 2 – local inventory (forthcoming). Boyle, J., N. E. Golubiewski, K. Balderston and C. Hu

Summary: Climate change risks in Auckland. Auckland Council. Prepared by Arup for Auckland Council 

Last updated: 2019-03-20


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