Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1

Articles

An introduction to the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI)

Krzysztof Błażejczyk, Gerd Jendritzky, Peter Bröde, Dusan Fiala, George Havenith, Yoram Epstein, Agnieszka Psikuta, Bernhard Kampmann

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 5-10 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.1

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Abstract:

The assessment of the thermal environment is one of the main issues in bioclimatic research, and more than 100 simple bioclimaticindices have thus far been developed to facilitate it. However, most of these indices have proved to be of limited applicability,and do not portray the actual impacts of thermal conditions on human beings. Indices derived from human heatbalancemodels (one- or two-node) have been found to offer a better representation of the environmental impact in questionthan do simple ones. Indeed, the new generation of multi-node models for human heat balance do allow full account to betaken of heat transfer and exchange, both within the human body and between the body surface and the surrounding airlayer. In this paper, it is essential background information regarding the newly-developed Universal Thermal Climate IndexUTCI that is presented, this in fact deriving from the Fiala multi-node model of human heatbalance. The UTCI is definedas the air temperature (Ta) of the reference condition causing the same model response as actual conditions. UTCI wasdeveloped in 2009 by virtue of international co-operation between leading experts in the areas of human thermophysiology,physiological modelling, meteorology and climatology. The necessary research for this had been conducted within theframework of a special commission of the International Society of Biometeorology (ISB) and European COST Action 730.

Keywords: UTCI, human heat balance, multi-node model, bioclimatic index, International Society of Biometeorology, COST Action 730

Krzysztof Błażejczyk [k.blaz@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland
Peter Bröde, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) Ardeystr 67, D-44139 Dortmund: Germany
Dusan Fiala, ErgonSim-Comfort Energy Efficiency Holderbuschweg 47, D-70563 Stuttgart: Germany
Agnieszka Psikuta, Empa – a Research Institute of the ETH Domain Laboratory for Physiology and Protection Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 St. Gallen: Switzerland;

UTCI - validation and practical application to the assessment of urban outdoor thermal comfort

Peter Bröde, Eduardo L. Krüger, Dusan Fiala

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 11-20 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.2

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Abstract:

We introduce here the structure and elements to the recently-developed Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), aswell as operational procedure relating to it. This is then followed by a demonstration of how the UTCI can be applied tobioclimatic surveys, using data from a study carried out in the sub-tropical urban area of Curitiba, Brazil. The empiricaldata from that were found to confirm the assumptions behind the UTCI model, which also supplied adequate predictionsof pedestrians’ behaviour as regards clothing and thermal sensation. Finally, in the context of urban planning, we showthat the UTCI captures the influence of the design characteristics of streets and public spaces on urban microclimate,and its impact on pedestrian thermal comfort.

Keywords: human biometeorology, climate index, model, urban planning

Peter Bröde, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) Ardeystr 67, D-44139 Dortmund: Germany
Eduardo L. Krüger, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná Departamento de Construção Civil Campus Curitiba – Sede Ecoville, Rua Deputado Heitor de Alencar Furtado, 4900, 81280-340 Curitiba – PR: Brazil
Dusan Fiala, ErgonSim-Comfort Energy Efficiency Holderbuschweg 47, D-70563 Stuttgart: Germany

Use of the UTCI in the Czech Republic

Martin Novak

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 21-28 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.3

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Abstract:

The new Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) was designed for use in the human bioclimatology and biometeorologyfield. This article describes a set of basic tests used to test the UTCI. These tests were made using real data fromselected meteorological stations in the Czech Republic. Days with extreme temperatures and days with extremely windyconditions (extratropical cyclone known as ‘hurricane Kyrill’, January 18-19, 2007) were selected for the UTCI testing. TheUniversal Thermal Climate Index is different from other, more commonly used indices. A complete set of meteorologicaland radiation factors: air temperature, humidity, wind speed and mean radiation temperature were used using whentesting the UTCI. Other indices were calculated using limited numbers of the following factors: air temperature andhumidity (Heat Index), air temperature and wind speed (Wind Chill), and also air temperature, humidity and wind speed(NET). Testing of the UTCI was necessary before the possible application of this index in the national weather serviceof the Czech Republic (CHMI).

Keywords: UTCI, thermal comfort/discomfort, biometeorological indices, bioweather forecast

Martin Novak, Czech Hydrometeorological Institute Kočkovská 18, 400 11 Ústí nad Labem: Czech Republic

Universal Thermal Climate Index in Lesko and Lublin and its circulation determinants

Marek Nowosad, Beata Rodzik, Sylwester Wereski, Mateusz Dobek

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 29-36 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.4

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Abstract:

In Lesko and Lublin, Poland, from 1981 to 2005, the UTCI values were calculated for 8 observation terms a day. Thefrequency of the UTCI classes determined as ‘cold stress’ was dominant in Lesko and in Lublin (65-66%). The frequency ofclasses determined as ‘heat stress’ was observed in 3% of all situations. On the other hand, restricted to the 12 UTC Julyand August term, the frequency of heat stress classes exceeded 40% in Lublin. Correlation between the UTCI in Lesko andLublin (Poland) was stronger in spring and autumn than in summer and winter. Correlation between the UTCI and themeridional circulation index was more significant than between the UTCI and zonal circulation index in the period fromApril to November in both stations. The opposite situation occurred in February.

Keywords: UTCI, cold stress, heat stress, atmospheric circulation, zonal circulation index, meridional circulation index

Marek Nowosad [marek.nowosad@poczta.umcs.lublin.pl], Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Faculty of Earth Science and Spatial Management al. Kraśnicka 2 cd, 20-718 Lublin: Poland
Beata Rodzik, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science pl. Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 1, 20-031 Lublin: Poland
Sylwester Wereski, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science pl. Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 1, 20-031 Lublin: Poland

Bioclimatic Conditions of the Lubuskie Voivodeship

Agnieszka Mąkosza

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 37-46 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.5

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Abstract:

The objective of the present work is to present the temporal and spatial characteristics of the bioclimatic conditions ofthe Lubuskie Voivodeship. The daily timed values (12UTC) of meteorological elements in the period 1971-2006 from threestations (Słubice, Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra) were used as the basis for the calculations. In order to assessthe bioclimatic conditions, a thermal stress index UTCI (Universal Thermal Climate Index) that is calculated with theuse of BioKlima 2.6 software was applied. The analysis shows that thermal stress related to ‘slight and moderate coldstress’ and ‘no thermal stress’ is a dominant factor (80%) affecting the bioclimatic conditions of the Lubuskie Voivodeship.During the analysed period, days with thermal stress related to cold stress occurred more frequently than thosewith thermal stress related to heat stress. On the basis of a linear regression trend, a positive trend for thermoneutralconditions days and heat related stress days (UTCI>32°C), as well as a negative trend for cold related stress (UTCI<-13°),were ascertained.

Keywords: UTCI, bioclimatic conditions, stress category, Lubuskie Voivodeship, linear trend

Application of the UTCI to the local bioclimate of Poland’s Ziemia Kłodzka region

Paweł Milewski

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 47-54 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.6

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Abstract:

This paper presents the spatial differentiation to biothermal conditions in the Ziemia Kłodzka region of Poland, the basisfor the assessment being the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), with spatial analysis relating to maps made usinga GIS application. The differentiation to UTCI values was defined for several types of weather.The greatest spatial differentiationto values for heat stress is to be observed in sunny, hot and dry weather in the presence of only gentle winds.Forests stand out from other types of landscape in the way they mitigate heat loads significantly.

Keywords: UTCI, Ziemia Kłodzka, Poland, GIS, bioclimatic conditions, heat loads, heat stress

Paweł Milewski [pmilewski@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland

Assessment of bioclimatic conditions in cities for tourism and recreational purposes (A Warsaw case study)

Katarzyna Lindner-Cendrowska

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 55-66 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.7

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Abstract:

The assessment of biometeorological conditions for tourism and recreational purposes is usually based around fundamentalmeteorological data, climate-tourism indices or biometeorological indices. Specific methods for investigating thesensible climate in the context of urban tourism had not been devised hitherto, but the present paper offers results of anassessment of the bioclimate of the Polish capital city, Warsaw, from the point of view of tourism and recreation, usingthe UTCI and PET indices. Values for these indices are then compared with thermal sensation votes cast by tourists in thecourse of leisure activities in Warsaw’s Old Town area. This validation revealed that, while weather perception does notonly depend on meteorological factors, usage of UTCI is an appropriate approach to the study of the bioclimate of urbanareas for tourism and recreation purposes.

Keywords: UTCI, PET, weather perception, tourism and recreation, Warsaw

Lighting characteristics during the polar day and their impact on changes in melatonin secretion

Joanna Wieczorek, Krzysztof Błażejczyk, Takeshi Morita

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 67-75 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.8

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Abstract:

People traveling between climate zones can be exposed to extreme environmental stimuli which significantly differ fromtheir place of habitual residence. A move from the temperate climate of Central Europe to the subpolar climate ofnorthern Europe means exposure to great changes in two climate parameters: lighting and biothermal characteristics.The sudden change of solar radiation, temperature, wind and humidity, force the organism to undergo intensive adaptationprocesses. While the change in lighting conditions involves a diurnal rhythm adaptation of the physiological clock(regulated by the hormone melatonin), the change of biothermal factors (represented by UTCI) produce additional stresson the strongly loaded human organism. The field experiment was carried out in Poland and Norway so the impact ofthe selected radiation stimuli on melatonin production could be carried out in conditions of natural constant lighting.The paper presents the results of the preliminary analysis of our research conducted from 22 May to 12 June 2011. Thedistribution of daily outdoor photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) intensity, which is a spectral distribution of solarvisible radiation in selected times of the day were analyzed. Lighting conditions surrounding each subject (doses ofreached energy of visible solar radiation and illumination intensity) were examined as well. Additional adaptation stresscaused by different biothermal conditions (expressed by UTCI index) was also taken into consideration. Diurnal melatoninconcentrations were determined in saliva samples.

Keywords: UTCI, adaptation, diurnal rhythm, lighting conditions, melatonin (MEL), polar day

Joanna Wieczorek, University of Warsaw College of Interfaculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences Żwirki i Wigury 93, 02-089 Warsaw: Poland
Krzysztof Błażejczyk [k.blaz@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland

Poland on maps

Distribution of Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) in Warsaw

Krzysztof Błażejczyk

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 79-80 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2013.9

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Keywords:

Krzysztof Błażejczyk [k.blaz@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland

Book review

Ebi K. L., Burton I., Mcgregor G. R. (eds.), Biometeorology for adaptation to climate variability and change, United Kingdom, Springer 2009

Magdalena Kuchcik

Geographia Polonica (2013) vol. 86, iss. 1, pp. 81-83 | Full text

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Keywords:

Magdalena Kuchcik [mkuchcik@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland