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
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
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Prof. Dr. Oded Potchter
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
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

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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 (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
UV-Index Climatology for Europe Based on Satellite Data
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070727 - 08 Jul 2020
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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Open AccessArticle
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
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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Open AccessArticle
Concepts and New Implements for Modified Physiologically Equivalent Temperature
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070694 - 30 Jun 2020
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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Open AccessArticle
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
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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Open AccessReview
The R Language as a Tool for Biometeorological Research
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070682 - 28 Jun 2020
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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