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Mean radiant temperature - A predictor of heat related mortality

Journal article
Authors Sofia Thorsson
Joacim Rocklöv
Janina Konarska
Fredrik Lindberg
Björn Holmer
Bénédicte Dousset
D.P. Rayner
Published in Urban Climate
Volume 10
Issue Part 2
Pages 332–345
ISSN 2212-0955
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 332–345
Language en
Keywords Heat related mortality, Heat stress, Hot spots, Mean radiant temperature
Subject categories Climate Research, Public health science


Health studies have repeatedly used air temperature (Ta ), sometimes adjusted for humidity, when analyzing the impact of weather on mortality. The aim of this study is to highlight the importance of mean radiant temperature (Tmrt ) and its impact on heat related mortality. Tmrt is an essential meteorological parameter that influences the thermal comfort (heat load) of humans. It is useful when assessing the impact of weather, especially heat, on people's health. Tmrt is directly influenced by urban geometry and surface material, which also makes it a good measure to identify urban hot spots. The performance of models using Ta and Tmrt for daily mortality is compared for Stockholm County, Sweden. It is demonstrated that Tmrt models fit heat related mortality better than Ta models, which implies that health studies should consider using Tmrt rather than Ta . The use of Tmrt models allows us to determine more accurate thresholds for increased risks of heat related mortality, and thus to better identify adverse weather conditions and heat prone urban geometries. Such information is needed to implement heat-warning systems and mitigate harmful effects of heat stress. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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