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Webinars will be held via Zoom. Webinar details will be sent to all registered participants via EventBrite.
  • March 31, 2023 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Title: Heat Vulnerability in a Changing Climate

As the climate warms, exposure to extreme heat is expected to increase. This presentation will review the evidence for increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves globally and in Toronto, and explore the ways in which increasing exposure to heat intersects with socio-economics and the built environment to contribute to spatial variability in heat vulnerability within urban areas. Understanding the distribution of heat vulnerability across a city can assist with public health planning and prioritization of heat mitigation strategies.

Learning objectives:

At the end of this seminar attendees will be able to:

Describe past and expected future changes in heat exposure in Toronto
Discuss how socio-economics determine the sensitivity to and ability to adapt to heat exposure and contribute to overall heat vulnerability
Describe the spatial pattern of heat vulnerability across Toronto
Discuss/critique the utility of heat vulnerability maps for public health planning

Presenter: Dr. Karen Smith

Karen Smith (she/her) is an Assistant Professor, Teaching-Stream in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Director of the Master of Environmental Science Program in Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. Her research focuses on climate and atmospheric variability of the mid-latitude and polar regions.

She is passionate about promoting climate science literacy: she serves as Chair of the School and Public Education Committee of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and also co-hosts a podcast about climate change and conservation called Emerging Environments.