Open Access Assessment of bioclimatic conditions within the area of Szczecin agglomeration

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Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to characterise the bioclimatic conditions in the city of Szczecin, particularly the recognition of the frequency of occurrence of the conditions unfavourable to humans. The analysis is based on the hourly values of particular meteorological elements and pollutant concentrations in the period 2005–2010 taken at the three measuring stations located in various settlement structures in Szczecin metropolitan area. The Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) was used to assess heat stress of human organism and the assessment of thermal sensation was based on the Effective Temperature index (ET). It was established that on a yearly basis the most favourable biothermal conditions are observed in the centre of the city and in its southern districts – categories no thermal stress (UTCI) and thermal comfort (ET) are most frequently recorded there. However, in the northern parts of the city the most common class of thermal stress (UTCI) is moderate cold stress and thermal sensation category (ET) cool and cold. Among the situations which thermal stress, the conditions connected with discomfort related to cold rather than heat are more frequent. Throughout the year, the strong cold stress (UTCI < 13 ° C) and sensations (ET) related to cold stress occurred in 12.5% and 25% of time respectively, whereas thermal discomfort related to strong heat stress with UTCI values over 32 ° C and ET thermal sensations hot and very hot were observed incomparably less frequently – 0.3% and 3.7% respectively. However, heat-related discomfort is more frequently observed in the city centre, and cold-related discomfort is most frequently experienced by residents of the outskirts of the city, particularly its northern parts. The statistically strongest relationships were observed between biothermal sensation and ozone (O3) and particulate matter PM2.5 immissions. During the analysed period, the most unfavourable bioclimatic conditions occurred predominantly in January and July 2006 and 2010.

Keywords: AIR POLLUTION; BIOMETEOROLOGY; URBAN CLIMATE; UTCI

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0451

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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