Climatology of Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT)
It is well known that you do not feel the same on a sunny day in Darwin with 27˚C than a clear sky day in Melbourne with the same temperature. While it might be a sticky day for runners in the tropics, exercising outside in Victoria’s capital could be quite pleasant. This is because ambient temperature alone is not necessarily the best indicator of environmental conditions conducive to heat stress on human health. The combination of hot temperatures with high humidity reduces the ability of the human body to dissipate metabolic heat, leading to increased body core temperature.
Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) estimates the effect of temperature, humidity, wind, and solar radiation on humans and is one of the most widely used and validated indexes for assessing environmental heat stress. For instance, the ISO standard for heat stress uses WBGT to recommend work-rest limits for work in hot environments in order to ensure that average core body temperatures of workers do not exceed 38˚C. In addition to the US and UK military, the WBGT value is used as a heat index in many sporting situations to determine the impact of environmental temperature.
In spite of the increasing interest in WBGT, only a few studies in Australia have been performed to date. This study presents a detailed climatology of WBGT in Australia by using ERA-5 reanalysis data.
About the poster:
This analysis was presented at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Meeting and the International Conference on Tropical Meteorology and Oceanography (AMOS-ICTMO 2019), held in Darwin from 11-14 June 2019.
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