Special Issue "Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biometeorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sorin Cheval
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1 "Henri Coandă" Air Force Academy, Brașov 500183, Romania
2 National Meteorological Administration, Bucharest 013686, Romania
Interests: urban climate; climate change and climate risks; biometeorology; historical meteorology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Oded Potchter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Man and Environment, Beit Berl Academic College, Beit Berl, 4490500, Israel
Interests: biometeorology; applied climatology; urban climatology; environmental and climate planning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Tzu-Ping Lin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
Interests: outdoor thermal comfort; urban heat island; human biometeorology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

Increased exposure and vulnerability to heat stress due to climate change has stimulated new emerging developments in fundamental and applied human biometeorology. Fanger’s book was a historical milestone concerning the physically based treatment of thermal comfort in different environmental and human-related disciplines. By the end of the seventies, new approaches concerning the effects of the atmospheric environment on humans, particularly, in urban areas and the development of maps were established. Since then, biometeorology has grown into a process-oriented field, combining medicine, meteorology, climate change, and climate impacts. Heatwaves and the development of heat health warning systems to protect humans in different spatial and temporal dimensions were the focus of many approaches and studies. New numerical modeling tools, new data sources (e.g., crowdsourcing), and statistical techniques promise that we progress towards predicting the complex interactions of humans and their environment.

Prof. Dr. Sorin Cheval
Prof. Dr. Oded Potchter
Prof. Dr. Tzu-Ping Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Weather, climate, climate change, and health
  • Urban and indoor bioclimates
  • Climate and tourism, recreational climatology
  • Heat health warnings and decision support systems
  • Human biometeorological modeling in different scales
  • Human biometeorological methods and models
  • Planning and climate adaptation for future bioclimates
  • Crowdsourcing, big data, and observational systems in human biometeorology

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology
Atmosphere 2021, 12(3), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030296 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Facing the impacts of climate change and urbanization, adaptation and resilience to climate extremes have become important issues of global concern [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Temperature-Related Mortality in Helsinki Compared to Its Surrounding Region Over Two Decades, with Special Emphasis on Intensive Heatwaves
Atmosphere 2021, 12(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12010046 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
Urbanization and ongoing climate change increase the exposure of the populations to heat stress, and the urban heat island (UHI) effect may magnify heat-related mortality, especially during heatwaves. We studied temperature-related mortality in the city of Helsinki—with urban and suburban land uses—and in [...] Read more.
Urbanization and ongoing climate change increase the exposure of the populations to heat stress, and the urban heat island (UHI) effect may magnify heat-related mortality, especially during heatwaves. We studied temperature-related mortality in the city of Helsinki—with urban and suburban land uses—and in the surrounding Helsinki-Uusimaa hospital district (HUS-H, excluding Helsinki)—with more rural types of land uses—in southern Finland for two decades, 2000–2018. Dependence of the risk of daily all-cause deaths (all-age and 75+ years) on daily mean temperature was modelled using the distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM). The modelled relationships were applied in assessing deaths attributable to four intensive heatwaves during the study period. The results showed that the heat-related mortality risk was substantially higher in Helsinki than in HUS-H, and the mortality rates attributable to four intensive heatwaves (2003, 2010, 2014 and 2018) were about 2.5 times higher in Helsinki than in HUS-H. Among the elderly, heat-related risks were also higher in Helsinki, while cold-related risks were higher in the surrounding region. The temperature ranges recorded in the fairly coarse resolution gridded datasets were not distinctly different in the two considered regions. It is therefore probable that the modelling underestimated the actual exposure to the heat stress in Helsinki. We also studied the modifying, short-term impact of air quality on the modelled temperature-mortality association in Helsinki; this effect was found to be small. We discuss a need for higher resolution data and modelling the UHI effect, and regional differences in vulnerability to thermal stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
A Study of the Thermal Environment and Air Quality in Hot–Humid Regions during Running Events in Southern Taiwan
Atmosphere 2020, 11(10), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11101101 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
It is quite difficult to investigate thermal comfort in hot–humid regions, and there have not been many real case studies or research related to this issue. In this article, four running events held in nearby popular travel spots in Kaohsiung, the largest city [...] Read more.
It is quite difficult to investigate thermal comfort in hot–humid regions, and there have not been many real case studies or research related to this issue. In this article, four running events held in nearby popular travel spots in Kaohsiung, the largest city in southern Taiwan, were selected to analyze the influence of thermal environment and air quality on thermal comfort. Mostly real time environmental monitoring data were applied for estimating thermal indicators, along with Sky View Factor (SVF) data taken at the sites of the running scheduled routes, to analyze the thermal performance of participants at running events. Compared with runners, walkers (local residents, fans, and staff of the events) would be exposed to a greater risk of thermal discomfort with increasing time spent on the routes. With the integrated analysis, mPET (modified physiologically equivalent temperature) can be viewed as a relatively comprehensive indicator in considering both environmental thermal conditions and the biometrical differences of activities and clothing types. From the results, a good correlation between mPET and solar radiation/SVF was obtained, which indicated that mPET could be sufficiently sensible in revealing the thermal condition variation from one site to another during the route with time. Based on the discomfort risk assessment, for runners, the event held in autumn with lower SVF at the route sites would be less risky of thermal discomfort, while the event held in spring with lower solar radiation would be more comfortable for walkers. As for air quality condition, the inappropriateness of holding winter outdoor activities in Kaohsiung was obviously shown in both real time monitoring data and long term analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Sea Breeze Front and Outdoor Thermal Comfort during Summer in Northeastern Brazil
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11091013 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Characterizing the behaviour of the sea breeze phenomenon is the foremost factor in the reduction in the heat stress and the achievement of the pleasant environment in coastal cities globally. However, this seminal study shows that the Sea Breeze Front (SBF) development can [...] Read more.
Characterizing the behaviour of the sea breeze phenomenon is the foremost factor in the reduction in the heat stress and the achievement of the pleasant environment in coastal cities globally. However, this seminal study shows that the Sea Breeze Front (SBF) development can be related to an increase in outdoor thermal discomfort in a northeastern Brazilian city during summer. We explored the relationship between SBF and thermal comfort conditions using in situ meteorological observations, the SBF identification method, local climate zones (LCZs) classification, and the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) thermal comfort index. SBF days and Non-SBF days were characterized in terms of weather conditions, combining meteorological data and technical bulletins. SBF days included hot and sunny days associated with the centre of the Upper Tropospheric Cyclonic Vortices (UTCV). In contrast, Non-SBF days were observed in UTCV’s periphery because of cloudy sky and rainfall. The results showed that the mean temperature and PET in the SBF days were 2.0 °C and 3.8 °C higher, respectively, compared to Non-SBF days in all LCZ sites. The highest PET, of 40.0 °C, was found on SBF days. Our findings suggest that SBF development could be an aggravating factor for increasing heat stress of the people living in the northeastern coast of the Brazilian city, after SBF passage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Urban Spatial Patterns and Heat Exposure in the Mediterranean City of Tel Aviv
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090963 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
This study aims to examine the effect of urban spatial patterns on heat exposure in the city of Tel Aviv using multiple methodologies, Local Climate Zones (LCZ), meteorological measurements, and remote sensing. A Local Climate Zone map of Tel Aviv was created using [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the effect of urban spatial patterns on heat exposure in the city of Tel Aviv using multiple methodologies, Local Climate Zones (LCZ), meteorological measurements, and remote sensing. A Local Climate Zone map of Tel Aviv was created using Geographic Information System (GIS), and satellite images were used to identify the spatial patterns of the urban heat island (UHI). Climatic variables were measured by fixed meteorological stations and by mobile cross-section. Surface and wall temperatures were obtained by satellite images and a hand-held infrared camera. Meteorological measurements at a height of 2 m showed that during midday the city is ~3.6 °C warmer than the surrounding rural area. The cooling effect of parks was evident only during the hot hours of the day (9:00–17:00). Land Surface Temperature in the southern part of the city was hotter by ~7–9 °C compared to the northern part due to lack of urban vegetation. Hot spots were found in compact midrise forms (LCZ 2) that are not ideal from the climatological perspective. Whereas compact low-rise forms (LCZ 3) were less heat vulnerable. The results of this study suggest that climatologists can provide planners and architects with scientific insight into the causes of and solutions for urban climatic heat exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Heat Exposure Information at Screen Level for an Impact-Based Forecasting and Warning Service for Heat-Wave Disasters
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090920 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
The importance of impact-based forecasting services, which can support decision-making, is being emphasized to reduce the damage of meteorological disasters, centered around the World Meteorological Organization. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) began developing impact-based forecasting technology and warning services in 2018. This paper [...] Read more.
The importance of impact-based forecasting services, which can support decision-making, is being emphasized to reduce the damage of meteorological disasters, centered around the World Meteorological Organization. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) began developing impact-based forecasting technology and warning services in 2018. This paper proposes statistical downscaling and bias correction methods for acquiring high-resolution meteorological data for the heat-wave impact forecast system operated by KMA. Hence, digital forecast data from KMA, with 5 km spatial resolution, were downscaled and corrected to a spatial resolution of 1 km using statistical interpolation methods. Cross-validation indicated the superior performance of the Gaussian process regression model (GPRM) technique with low root mean square error and percent bias values and high CC value. The GPRM technology had the lowest forecast error, especially during the hottest period in Korea. In addition, temperatures for land-use areas with low elevations and high activity, such as the urban, road, and agricultural areas, were high. It is essential to provide accurate heat exposure information at the screen level with high human activity. Spatiotemporally accurate heat exposure information can be used more realistically for risk management in agriculture, livestock and fishery, and for adjusting the working hours of outdoor workers in construction and shipbuilding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Future Holiday Climate Index (HCI) Performance of Urban and Beach Destinations in the Mediterranean
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090911 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
Tourism is a major socioeconomic contributor to established and emerging destinations in the Mediterranean region. Recent studies introducing the Holiday Climate Index (HCI) highlight the significance of climate as a factor in sustaining the competitiveness of coastal and urban destinations. The aim of [...] Read more.
Tourism is a major socioeconomic contributor to established and emerging destinations in the Mediterranean region. Recent studies introducing the Holiday Climate Index (HCI) highlight the significance of climate as a factor in sustaining the competitiveness of coastal and urban destinations. The aim of this study is to assess the future HCI performance of urban and beach destinations in the greater Mediterranean region. For this purpose, HCI scores for the reference (1971–2000) and future (2021–2050, 2070–2099) periods were computed with the use of two latest greenhouse gas concentration trajectories, RCP 4.5 and 8.5, based on the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) domain and data. The outputs were adjusted to a 500 m resolution via the use of lapse rate corrections that extrapolate the climate model topography against a resampled digital elevation model. All periodic results were seasonally aggregated and visualized on a (web) geographical information system (GIS). The web version of the GIS also allowed for a basic climate service where any user can search her/his place of interest overlaid with index ratings. Exposure levels are revealed at the macro scale while sensitivity is discussed through a validation of the climatic outputs against visitation data for one of Mediterranean’s leading destinations, Antalya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Affective Normative Data for English Weather Words
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080860 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
The research in this article examines the emotional associations people have to common weather words and to selected terms that appear in weather communications (e.g., severe thunderstorm warning). A sample of 420 university students provided ratings for each term along four dimensions: 1. [...] Read more.
The research in this article examines the emotional associations people have to common weather words and to selected terms that appear in weather communications (e.g., severe thunderstorm warning). A sample of 420 university students provided ratings for each term along four dimensions: 1. Valence (unhappy vs. happy), 2. Arousal (calm vs. excited), 3. Dominance (in control/dominant vs. controlled/passive), and 4. Surprise (unsurprising/predictable vs. surprising/unpredictable). The results of this research provide descriptive statistical data for the 141 weather words along the four dimensions. The author also examined the correlations of the four dimensions across the terms and observed a high degree of association between the rated arousal and surprise characteristics of terms. In addition, the results revealed the clustering of weather words according to shared similarities across the four affective dimensions (illustrating affective-based synonymy). The results of the research are significant because they reveal a deeper understanding of the subjective and emotional experiences of the atmosphere that people may have when describing the weather of a place. Similarly, the normative data from this research may be used in the analysis of weather- or climate-based communications to characterize the emotional significance or impact of a message. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Spatial-Temporal Pattern Changes of UTCI in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Recent 40 Years
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080858 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
This paper investigated the spatial and temporal variations of the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from 1979 to 2018. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis-Interim (ERA-Interim) reanalysis data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather [...] Read more.
This paper investigated the spatial and temporal variations of the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from 1979 to 2018. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis-Interim (ERA-Interim) reanalysis data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is selected for UTCI calculation in the region and analyzed by a linear trend and correlation analysis. The results showed that (1) the UTCI of CPEC is decreased with the increase of latitude and altitude. There is obvious spatial heterogeneity in the seasonal scale and the spatial distribution of different thermal stress categories. (2) UTCI generally exhibited a positive trend of 0.33 °C/10a over the past 40 years, and the seasonal variation characteristics of UTCI show an upward trend in all four seasons, of which spring is the fastest. On the space scale, the growth trend has significant spatial variations. (3) Temperature has a positive correlation with UTCI. The influence of temperature on UTCI is greater than that of wind speed. The results of this study will be helpful for regional planning and also contribute to comprehending the characteristics of the thermal environment in CPEC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Local Weather Types by Thermal Periods: Deepening the Knowledge about Lisbon’s Urban Climate
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080840 - 08 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1045
Abstract
Urbanized hot spots incorporate a great diversity of microclimates dependent, among other factors, on local meteorological conditions. Until today, detailed analysis of the combination of climatic variables at local scale are very scarce in urban areas. Thus, there is an urgent need to [...] Read more.
Urbanized hot spots incorporate a great diversity of microclimates dependent, among other factors, on local meteorological conditions. Until today, detailed analysis of the combination of climatic variables at local scale are very scarce in urban areas. Thus, there is an urgent need to produce a Local Weather Type (LWT) classification that allows to exhaustively distinguish different urban thermal patterns. In this study, hourly data from air temperature, wind speed and direction, accumulated precipitation, cloud cover and specific humidity (2009–2018) were integrated in a cluster analysis (K-means) in order to produce a LWT classification for Lisbon’s urban area. This dataset was divided by daytime and nighttime and thermal periods, which were generated considering the annual cycle of air temperatures. Therefore, eight LWT sets were generated. Results show that N and NW LWT are quite frequent throughout the year, with a moderate speed (daily average of 4–6 m/s). In contrast, the frequency of rainy LWT is considerably lower, especially in summer (below 10%). Moreover, during this season the moisture content of the air masses is higher, particularly at night. This methodology will allow deepening the knowledge about the multiple Urban Heat Island (UHI) patterns in Lisbon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
A High Spatiotemporal Resolution Global Gridded Dataset of Historical Human Discomfort Indices
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080835 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
Meteorological human discomfort indices or bioclimatic indices are important metrics to gauge potential risks to human health under varying environmental thermal exposures. Derived using sub-daily meteorological variables from a quality-controlled reanalysis data product (Global Land Data Assimilation System—GLDAS), a new high-resolution global dataset [...] Read more.
Meteorological human discomfort indices or bioclimatic indices are important metrics to gauge potential risks to human health under varying environmental thermal exposures. Derived using sub-daily meteorological variables from a quality-controlled reanalysis data product (Global Land Data Assimilation System—GLDAS), a new high-resolution global dataset referred to as “HDI_0p25_1970_2018” is presented in this study. The dataset includes the following daily indices at 0.25° × 0.25° gridded resolution: (i) Apparent Temperature indoors (ATind); (ii) two variants of Apparent Temperature outdoors in shade (ATot); (iii) Heat Index (HI); (iv) Humidex (HDEX); (v) Wet Bulb Temperature (WBT); (vi) two variants of Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT); (vii) Thom Discomfort Index (DI); and (viii) Windchill Temperature (WCT). Spanning 49 years over the period 1970–2018, HDI_0p25_1970_2018 fills gaps in existing climate indices datasets by being the only high-resolution historical global-gridded daily time-series of multiple human discomfort indices based on different meteorological parameters, thus offering applications in wide-ranging climate zones and thermal-comfort environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Comparison of Respiratory and Ischemic Heart Mortalities and their Relationship to the Thermal Environment
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080826 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
Chronic respiratory and ischemic heart diseases are globally important parts of total mortality. This study focuses on the occurrence of mortality due to these disease groups in Germany and possible effects of the thermal environment. A retrospective analysis on the mortality rates of [...] Read more.
Chronic respiratory and ischemic heart diseases are globally important parts of total mortality. This study focuses on the occurrence of mortality due to these disease groups in Germany and possible effects of the thermal environment. A retrospective analysis on the mortality rates of chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD) and ischemic heart diseases (IHD) at the regional level in Germany for the period 2001–2015 was done in combination with meteorological observations from the network of the German Meteorological Service. In order to control the mortality data for long-term and seasonal trends, a 365-day Gaussian low-pass filter with a filter response function was applied. The thermal environment was analysed using 2 m air temperature (Ta) and the human biometeorological index Perceived Temperature (PT). The relationship of the Relative Risk (RR) of mortality to the thermal environment is displayed as an exposure–response curve, with threshold values at which RR increases significantly towards higher and lower temperature values. CLRD mortality increases above 17.6 °C, at approximately 4.4%/°C (CI: ± 0.3). The increase of IHD mortality above the threshold of 18.8 °C is less steep, at 3.5%/°C (CI: ± 0.2). During hot periods, CLRD mortality increases by 19.9%, which is twice as much as IHD mortality, with an increase of 9.8%. However, cold days and cold periods affect IHD slightly more than CLRD. The results highlight the concerns of CLRD patients during hot days as well as heat waves. This could lead to better precautions being taken for respiratory patients, which are already established for cardiac patients in Germany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Changes Detected in Five Bioclimatic Indices in Large Romanian Cities over the Period 1961–2016
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080819 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
Bioclimatic indices are very important tools to evaluate the thermal stress of the human body. The aims of this study were to analyze the general bioclimatic conditions in ten big cities in Romania and to find out if there has been any change [...] Read more.
Bioclimatic indices are very important tools to evaluate the thermal stress of the human body. The aims of this study were to analyze the general bioclimatic conditions in ten big cities in Romania and to find out if there has been any change in five bioclimatic indices over a 56-year period: 1961–2016. The indices considered were: equivalent temperature, effective temperature, cooling power, universal thermal climate index and temperature-humidity index. They were calculated based on the daily meteorological data of air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed recorded in 10 weather stations in Romania: Bucharest-Băneasa, Botoșani, Cluj-Napoca, Constanța, Craiova, Galați, Iași, Oradea, Sibiu and Timișoara. The features investigated for trend detection consisted of the frequency and length of the occurrence period for each class and for each index. The test used for trend detection was Mann-Kendall and the magnitude of the trend (the slope) was calculated by employing Sen’s slope method. The main results are based on frequency analysis. Three indices showed comfort class as dominant whereas the other two indicated cold stress conditions as dominant in the area. There was a shift from the cold stress conditions to the warm and hot ones for all the indices. The most stressful conditions for hot extremes did not indicate significant change. The climate in the big cities of Romania became milder during the cold season and hotter during the warm period of the year. The analysis of the length of each thermal class indicated mainly longer occurrence periods during the year for comfortable or warm stress classes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Accuracy of Mean Radiant Temperature Derived from Active and Passive Radiometry
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080805 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
The concept of the mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) allows the study of radiative exchanges between a human and its environment. It presupposes that the radiant effects on the person of the actual environment, which is generally heterogeneous, and the virtual [...] Read more.
The concept of the mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) allows the study of radiative exchanges between a human and its environment. It presupposes that the radiant effects on the person of the actual environment, which is generally heterogeneous, and the virtual environment, which is defined as homogeneous, are identical. ISO 7726 specifies the required accuracy in Tmrt as input of rational thermal indices, outdoors ±5 (K). Tmrt accounts for the radiant heat absorbed by skin/clothing from the shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) spectral bands. Most of the radiant components are isotropic. However, there are anisotropic SW components; namely the direct irradiance and under clear or partly obstructed skies a significant circumsolar fraction (fcs) in the diffuse irradiance. Both originate from the close proximity of the solar disk. This study highlights the effect of fcs on Tmrt. In the scope of human biometeorology a standing body posture is standard. For unidirectional irradiances its radiant cross-section varies dependent on the solar altitude. Active radiometry in deriving Tmrt is based on measured irradiances. One method is the Klima-Michel-Modell (KMM) that uses readily available measurements from standard meteorologically radiant observations. KMM references Fanger’s area projection factors that are derived from precise measurements of real humans. Thus, KMM serves as reference in evaluation of further methods. One is the six-directional instrument (Tmrt,r,6−Dir). Slightly simplifying a standing human, it represents a subject as a rectangular solid. Tmrt,r,6−Dir is derived based on measured irradiances incident on the vertical and horizontal planes. In passive radiometry the energy balance equation of a black globe thermometer is solved that leads to Tmrt,Tg,BG. fcs significantly impacts Tmrt with noticeably reduced values for high and increased for low solar altitudes. Hence, accounting for fcs is essential for the accuracy of Tmrt. For KMM an extension to an existing algorithm is provided in order to include fcs into the Tmrt calculation that results in Tmrt,r,KMM. For Tmrt,r,6−Dir the radiant cross-section of the solid depends to a minor extent on its azimuth relative to the solar azimuth. As a result Tmrt,r,6−Dir slightly scatters compared to Tmrt,r,KMM. However, it remains within ±2 (K). Tmrt,Tg,BG compared to Tmrt,r,KMM complies only at night with the ISO 7726 bin of ±5 K. Tmrt,Tg,BG significantly overestimates Tmrt,r,KMM during the daytime, because of its greater SW absorptance compared to skin/clothing and to a smaller extent because the standing posture is represented by a sphere. Particularly in sunny conditions, Tmrt,Tg,BG is subject to considerable variance. Thus, outdoors during the daytime, Tmrt,Tg,BG is unable to serve as an appropriate input for the calculation of rational-based thermal indices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
UV-Index Climatology for Europe Based on Satellite Data
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070727 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
The UV-Index (UVI) is aimed at the prevention of skin cancer as well as other negative implications of ultraviolet radiation exposure. In order to support health related applications, assessments and planning that rely on long term data in high spatial resolution and as [...] Read more.
The UV-Index (UVI) is aimed at the prevention of skin cancer as well as other negative implications of ultraviolet radiation exposure. In order to support health related applications, assessments and planning that rely on long term data in high spatial resolution and as there exist only limited ground-based measurements, satellite products from reliable atmospheric monitoring services are used as sustainable data sources to create a climatology of the UVI at the local noon. In this study, the (all-sky) UVI as well as the hypothetically clear-sky UVI were analysed for the European region from 30° North to 65° North and from 25° West to 35° East in a spatial resolution of 0.05° for the time period 1983 to 2015. Maps of the monthly mean UVI provide an overview of the distribution of UVI for Europe as well as the spatial and temporal differences and regional variability at local solar noon. Additionally, eight selected locations provide insight into the effects of latitude and altitude on UVI in Europe. Monthly boxplots for each location provide information about regional differences in the variability of UVI, showing maximum variability in Northern and Central Europe in summer, where in Southern Europe this basically occurs in spring. The frequency of the World Health Organization exposure categories moderate, high and very high UVI is provided based on ten-day means for each month. The maximum difference between mean values per decade of 2006–2015 compared to 1983–1992 ranges from −1.2 to +1.2 for UVI and from −0.4 to +0.6 for UVI c l e a r s k y . All locations, except the Northern European site, show an increase of UVI during spring and early summer months. A statistically significant increase in the annual mean all-sky UVI has been found for four sites, which ranges from +1.2% to +3.6% per decade. The latest eleven-year period of the UVI climatology (2005–2015) has been validated with UVI measured in five sites. The sites that are located north of the Alps show an underestimation of the UVI, likely due to the cloud modification. In the south, the UVI climatology provides values that are on average overestimated, possibly related to the use of climatological aerosol information. For the site within the Alps, a switch between underestimation and overestimation during the course of the year has been found. 7% to 9% of the UVI values of the climatology differ from the measured UVI by more than one unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Importance Evaluation Based on Random Forest Algorithms: Insights into the Relationship between Negative Air Ions Variability and Environmental Factors in Urban Green Spaces
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070706 - 02 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
Negative air ions (NAIs) exert positive effects on human health. Urban green spaces produce NAIs and perform valuable ecological functions; this phenomenon has attracted much attention. However, NAIs in urban green spaces are influenced by many factors, leading to extremely large variability in [...] Read more.
Negative air ions (NAIs) exert positive effects on human health. Urban green spaces produce NAIs and perform valuable ecological functions; this phenomenon has attracted much attention. However, NAIs in urban green spaces are influenced by many factors, leading to extremely large variability in their concentrations and complicating their measurement. Therefore, we collected observational data on NAI concentrations (NAICs), as well as on other environmental factors for one year in Shanghai City Park. We then used this data to construct an indicator of NAI variability (NAIV); we understand NAIV to be dependent upon NAIC, and study of the derivative can better reflect the driving force and dominant factors of the original function. Based on a preliminary investigation of correlation, and on a multiple linear regression analysis, we used a random forest algorithm to evaluate the influence of various factors that affect the variability of NAIs. The results show that “water factors,” whose main contribution is humidity, exert the most influence, followed by “phenology factors,” whose main contribution is temperature, and “particulate factors,” whose main contribution is PM2.5. High humidity, high temperature, and low PM2.5 concentration enrich NAI generation and extend their lifetimes, thus helping to maintain them within a relatively stable range. In this study, the main driving forces that govern NAI changes were shown to be humidity, temperature and particulate matter. Our results may help to deepen our understanding of NAI characteristics and applications in urban green spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Concepts and New Implements for Modified Physiologically Equivalent Temperature
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070694 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
Different kinds of thermal indices have been applied in several decades as essential tools to investigate thermal perception, environmentally thermal conditions, occupant thermal risk, public health, tourist attractiveness, and urban climate. Physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) has been proved as a relatively wide applicable [...] Read more.
Different kinds of thermal indices have been applied in several decades as essential tools to investigate thermal perception, environmentally thermal conditions, occupant thermal risk, public health, tourist attractiveness, and urban climate. Physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) has been proved as a relatively wide applicable thermal indicator above other thermal indices. However, the current practical PET performs a slight variation influenced by changing the humidity and clothing insulation. The improvement of the PET has potentiality for further multi-application as a general and consistent standard to estimate thermal perception and tolerance for different studies. To achieve the above purpose, modified physiologically equivalent temperature (mPET) is proposed as an appropriate indicator according to the new structure and requirements of the thermally environmental ergonomics. The modifications to formulate the mPET are considerably interpreted in the principle of the heat transfer inside body, thermo-physiological model, clothing model, and human-environmental interaction in this study. Specifically, the mPET-model has adopted a semi-steady-state approach to calculate an equivalent temperature refer to an indoor condition as the mPET. Finally, the sensitivity test of the biometeorological variables and clothing impact proves that the mPET has better performance on the humidity and clothing insulation than the original PET. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Article
Comparison of Thermal Comfort between Sapporo and Tokyo—The Case of the Olympics 2020
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050444 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Weather and climate conditions can be decisive regarding travel plans or outdoor events, especially for sport events. The Olympic Games 2020, postponed to 2021, will take place in Tokyo at a time which is considered to be the hottest and most humid time [...] Read more.
Weather and climate conditions can be decisive regarding travel plans or outdoor events, especially for sport events. The Olympic Games 2020, postponed to 2021, will take place in Tokyo at a time which is considered to be the hottest and most humid time of the year. However, a part of the athletic competitions is relocated to the northern city Sapporo. Therefore, it is important to quantify thermal comfort for different occasions and destinations and make the results accessible to visitors and sport attendees. The following analysis will quantify and compare thermal comfort and heat stress between Sapporo and Tokyo using thermal indices like the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature and the modified Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET and mPET). The results reveal different precipitation patterns for the cities. While a higher precipitation rate appears in Sapporo during winter, the precipitation rate is higher in Tokyo during summer. PET and mPET exhibit a greater probability of heat stress conditions in Tokyo during the Olympic Games, whereas Sapporo has more moderate values for the same period. The Climate-Tourism/Transfer-Information-Scheme (CTIS) integrates and simplifies climate information and makes them comprehensible for non-specialists. The CTIS of Tokyo illustrates lower suitable conditions for “Heat stress”, “Sunny days” and “Sultriness”. Transferring parts of the athletics competition to a northern city is thus more convenient for athletes, staff members and spectators. Hence, heat stress can be avoided and an acceptable outdoor stay is ensured. Overall, this quantification and comparison of the thermal conditions in Sapporo and Tokyo reveal limitations but also possibilities for the organizers of the Olympic Games. Furthermore it can be used to raise awareness for promoting or arranging countermeasures and heat mitigation at specific events and destinations, if necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Review

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Review
Thermal Environment of Urban Schoolyards: Current and Future Design with Respect to Children’s Thermal Comfort
Atmosphere 2020, 11(11), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11111144 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 622
Abstract
Urban outdoor thermal conditions, and its impacts on the health and well-being for the city inhabitants have reached increased attention among biometeorological studies during the last two decades. Children are considered more sensitive and vulnerable to hot ambient conditions compared to adults, and [...] Read more.
Urban outdoor thermal conditions, and its impacts on the health and well-being for the city inhabitants have reached increased attention among biometeorological studies during the last two decades. Children are considered more sensitive and vulnerable to hot ambient conditions compared to adults, and are affected strongly by their thermal environment. One of the urban outdoor environments that children spend almost one third of their school time is the schoolyard. The aims of the present manuscript were to review studies conducted worldwide, in order to present the biophysical characteristics of the typical design of the urban schoolyard. This was done to assess, in terms of bioclimatology, the interactions between the thermal environment and the children’s body, to discuss the adverse effects of thermal environment on children, especially the case of heat stress, and to propose measures that could be applied to improve the thermal environment of schoolyards, focusing on vegetation. Human thermal comfort monitoring tools are mainly developed for adults, thus, further research is needed to adapt them to children. The schemes that are usually followed to design urban schoolyards create conditions that favour the exposure of children to excessive heat, inducing high health risks to them. The literature survey showed that typical urban schoolyard design (i.e., dense surface materials, absence of trees) triggered high surface temperatures (that may exceed 58 °C) and increased absorption of radiative heat load (that may exceed 64 °C in terms of Mean Radiant Temperature) during a clear day with intense solar radiation. Furthermore, vegetation cover has a positive impact on schoolyard’s microclimate, by improving thermal comfort and reducing heat stress perception of children. Design options for urban schoolyards and strategies that can mitigate the adverse effects of heat stress are proposed with focus on vegetation cover that affect positively their thermal environment and improve their aesthetic and functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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Review
The R Language as a Tool for Biometeorological Research
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070682 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
R is an open-source programming language which gained a central place in the geosciences over the last two decades as the primary tool for research. Now, biometeorological research is driven by the diverse datasets related to the atmosphere and other biological agents (e.g., [...] Read more.
R is an open-source programming language which gained a central place in the geosciences over the last two decades as the primary tool for research. Now, biometeorological research is driven by the diverse datasets related to the atmosphere and other biological agents (e.g., plants, animals and human beings) and the wide variety of software to handle and analyse them. The demand of the scientific community for the automation of analysis processes, data cleaning, results sharing, reproducibility and the capacity to handle big data brings a scripting language such as R in the foreground of the academic universe. This paper presents the advantages and the benefits of the R language for biometeorological and other atmospheric sciences’ research, providing an overview of its typical workflow. Moreover, we briefly present a group of useful and popular packages for biometeorological research and a road map for further scientific collaboration on the R basis. This paper could be a short introductory guide to the world of the R language for biometeorologists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
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