The Global Heat Health Information Network is an independent, voluntary, and member-driven forum of scientists, practitioners, and policy makers focused on improving capacity to protect populations from the avoidable health risks of extreme heat in our changing climate.

It was created to help rapidly scale up efforts to manage the complex human health risks introduced by extreme and increasing ambient heat, and to harmonize and improve information and opportunity sharing across the burgeoning local communities of health professionals, decision makers and scientists motivated to address this issue.

The Network is working toward five common goals:   

  1.  to urgently improve awareness of the disaster that increasing extreme heat pose to human health, wellbeing, and productivity worldwide;  
  2.  to catalyze and sustain interdisciplinary partnerships and co-learning between research and practitioners across relevant government, academic, private sector and civil society actors;   
  3.  to synthesize and advance science and technology available for decision-making and risk reduction across sectors and time scales;   
  4.  to improve access to expert resources and opportunities for learning, exchange, and engagement;  
  5.  to identify and accelerate action to address critical gaps in research, knowledge and practice. 

Our Vision

Improved capacity of professionals, organizations, and governments to protect populations from the preventable health impacts of extreme ambient heat.

  • The network aims to create a common space to promote evidence-driven interventions, shared-learning, co-production of information, synthesis of priorities, and capacity building that can empower multi-disciplinary actors to take more effective and informed life-saving preparedness and planning measures.
  • It seeks to be a catalyst, knowledge broker and forum for facilitating exchange and identifying needs of the most vulnerable.

How We Work

The Network brings together the work and progress of its members to create a holistic picture of the needs, science and strengths to:

  • rapidly scale up efforts to manage the complex human health risks introduced by extreme and increasing ambient heat;
  • harmonize and improve information and opportunity sharing across the burgeoning local communities of health professionals, decision makers and scientists motivated to address this issue.

Activities

The Network’s activities help improve the capacity of governments, organizations, and professionals to protect populations from the avoidable health risks of extreme ambient heat. Members and the wider public benefit from ongoing activities, including:

5 Pillars of Integrated Heat Health Action

Our Networks’ 5 Pillars of Integrated Action support coordinated information and action to reduce the impact of heat on health worldwide.


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5 Pillars of Integrated Heat Health Action 

Pillar and RationaleNetwork RolePriority Issues
1. Partnerships and Capacity Building

To address the multifaceted and multidimensional risks extreme heat poses for health, building capacity to develop and drive diverse partnerships from global and local levels is critically needed.
The Network supports partnership development and interdisciplinary capacity building and collaboration at local to global levels, including through human and institutional training opportunities, inter-institutional and interdisciplinary coordination and partnerships. Tool tip Find out more: explore learning opportunities.
  • Institutional capacity
  • Partnerships
  • Training
  • Coordination models
2. Heat Vulnerability and Impact Science

Strong data and research are needed to understand and monitor the health vulnerabilities and risks of ambient heat in our changing climate.
The Network supports actions (methods, data, research) that enhance knowledge on human vulnerability and impacts of extreme ambient heat, including heat impact metrics, surveillance systems, research and operational systems for monitoring and modelling heat-health risks, research and knowledge gaps. Tool tip Find out more about heat and health
  • Vulnerability studies
  • Impact metrics and surveillance
  • Impact Thresholds
  • Epidemiological Studies
  • Behavioral and risk perception studies
  • Physiological studies
  • Cascading environmental risk modelling
  • Research gaps
3. Heat Prediction and Services

Accurate and timely climate and weather information is necessary to enable effective decision making and action to protect health and save lives.
The Network supports actions to enhance operational heat risk monitoring, characterization, prediction, and warning systems across timescales, including epidemiological impact forecasting; biometeorological indices, Urban Heat Island monitoring and modelling; and operational early warning systems. Tool tip Find out more about when and where heat is dangerous, and how it's measured and monitored.
  • Meteorological Observations
  • Forecasts and Outlooks
  • Heat Indices
  • Heat Health Early Warning Systems
  • Urban Climate/UHI
4. Interventions

Appropriate interventions across multiple sectors and time-scales can prevent heat exposure and negative health outcomes.
The Network supports evidence based interventions across multiple sectors, actors, and time-scales to accelerate necessary action.  This includes a vast range of interventions such as, policy and legislation, action planning and coordination, public health prevention, and awareness of personal behaviors and choices to minimize heat risks.    Tool tip Find out more about what actions can be taken to manage and adapt to heat in various contexts here.
  • Inventory of evidence-based action
  • Policy and legislation
  • Pilot Projects
  • Heat Health Action Plans
  • Prevention and Preparedness
  • Cooling and Heat Mitigation
  • Evaluation
5. Communications and Outreach

Effective risk communication and outreach play a key role improving awareness of the risk that hot weather poses to human health, wellbeing, and productivity worldwide.
The Network supports the identification of key messages and good practices for increasing awareness and communicating heat health risks to diverse audiences and various audiences including clinical medicine, public health, urban planning, academia, and meteorology. Tool tip Find out more about advocacy and risk communications for heat health.
  • Advocacy;
  • Risk Communication;
  • Advisory Systems;
  • Evidence based Messages;
  • Good Practices

Background

The Network was initiated in June 2016 by experts from over a dozen founding institutions to respond to the urgent need to scale preventive heat action and repeated calls for harmonization and improvement of our common understanding and decision tools to manage health risks of extreme heat.  The Network officially launched with a call to action in December 2018 at the First Global Forum for Heat and Health. It is spearheaded by the World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization Joint Office for Climate and Health, and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Our Members

Diverse expertise and perspectives: Our members self-select, enhancing active inclusion of a broad range of organizations and professionals from around the world.

Compatible motivation: The mission and values of our members are expected to be compatible with the Network vision.

Scientific integrity and shared principles: Members are encouraged to uphold scientific integrity and principles of good public health practice.

This includes organizations and professionals from:

  • Government agencies
  • Academic institutions
  • International organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Private-sector boundary institutions
  • Individuals in relevant fields

Steering Committee

Joy Shumake-Guillemot

World Health Organization (WHO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

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Juli Trtanj

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Hunter Jones

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Kristie Ebi

University of Washington

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Shubayu Saha

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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Emer O’Connell

Public Health England

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Kim Knowlton

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

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Patrick Kinney

Boston University School of Public Health

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Virginia Murray

Public Health England

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Dileep Mavalankar

Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar

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Chao REN

University of Hong Kong

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Julie Arrighi

American Red Cross

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Rupa Kumar Kolli

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM)

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Hannah Nissan

Columbia University

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Glenn McGregor

Durham University

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Yolanda Clewlow

United Kingdom Met Office

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Andreas Matzarakis

Research Centre Human Biometeorology, German Meteorological Service, Freiburg

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Sari Kovats

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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Founding Partners

Recommended Resources

Report

Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Chris Boyer, Hunter Jones, Juli Trtanj, Maddie West

GHHIN

2020

Global Forum on Heat and Health

The biennial Heat Health Forum is an international multi-stakeholder platform to build community and accelerate the transformation of knowledge to action that can help society better adapt to a warmer world.