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      Is There a Need to Integrate Human Thermal Models with Weather Forecasts to Predict Thermal Stress?

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          Abstract

          More and more people will experience thermal stress in the future as the global temperature is increasing at an alarming rate and the risk for extreme weather events is growing. The increased exposure to extreme weather events poses a challenge for societies around the world. This literature review investigates the feasibility of making advanced human thermal models in connection with meteorological data publicly available for more versatile practices and a wider population. By providing society and individuals with personalized heat and cold stress warnings, coping advice and educational purposes, the risks of thermal stress can effectively be reduced. One interesting approach is to use weather station data as input for the wet bulb globe temperature heat stress index, human heat balance models, and wind chill index to assess heat and cold stress. This review explores the advantages and challenges of this approach for the ongoing EU project ClimApp where more advanced models may provide society with warnings on an individual basis for different thermal environments such as tropical heat or polar cold. The biggest challenges identified are properly assessing mean radiant temperature, microclimate weather data availability, integration and continuity of different thermal models, and further model validation for vulnerable groups.

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          Most cited references96

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          Anthropogenic contribution to global occurrence of heavy-precipitation and high-temperature extremes

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            The integrated WRF/urban modelling system: development, evaluation, and applications to urban environmental problems

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              Effects of cold weather on mortality: results from 15 European cities within the PHEWE project.

              Weather-related health effects have attracted renewed interest because of the observed and predicted climate change. The authors studied the short-term effects of cold weather on mortality in 15 European cities. The effects of minimum apparent temperature on cause- and age-specific daily mortality were assessed for the cold season (October-March) by using data from 1990-2000. For city-specific analysis, the authors used Poisson regression and distributed lag models, controlling for potential confounders. Meta-regression models summarized the results and explored heterogeneity. A 1 degrees C decrease in temperature was associated with a 1.35% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 1.53) increase in the daily number of total natural deaths and a 1.72% (95% CI: 1.44, 2.01), 3.30% (95% CI: 2.61, 3.99), and 1.25% (95% CI: 0.77, 1.73) increase in cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular deaths, respectively. The increase was greater for the older age groups. The cold effect was found to be greater in warmer (southern) cities and persisted up to 23 days, with no evidence of mortality displacement. Cold-related mortality is an important public health problem across Europe. It should not be underestimated by public health authorities because of the recent focus on heat-wave episodes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                19 November 2019
                November 2019
                : 16
                : 22
                : 4586
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Thermal Environment Laboratory, Division of Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, 22362 Lund, Sweden; chuansi.gao@ 123456design.lth.se
                [2 ]Institute for Safety (IFV), 2701 AC Zoetermeer, The Netherlands; Kalev.Kuklane@ 123456ifv.nl
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: jakob.petersson@ 123456design.lth.se ; Tel.: +46-722-397-775
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0613-3704
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3169-436X
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7386-692X
                Article
                ijerph-16-04586
                10.3390/ijerph16224586
                6888075
                31752444
                556d0186-a9d3-45f0-a13f-b62d303c4162
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 01 October 2019
                : 17 November 2019
                Categories
                Review

                Public health
                heat stress,cold stress,human thermal models,meteorological forecast,thermal stress warning,heat wave,cold spell

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