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Blazejczyk K.,University of Warsaw | Baranowski J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Blazejczyk A.,Bioklimatologia Laboratory Of Bioclimatology And Environmental Ergonomics
Miscellanea Geographica | Year: 2014

Evidence of climatic health hazards on the general population has been discussed in many studies but limited focus is placed on developing a relationship between climate and its effects on occupational health. Long working hours with high physical activity can cause health problems for workers ranging from mild heat cramps to severe heat stroke leading to death. The paper presents the possible risk of heat hazard to outdoor workers, using the example of Warsaw. The heat stress hazard, defined by WBGT values above 26 and 28°C and UTCI above 32 and 38°C, is assessed from two perspectives: its spatial distribution on a local scale and its temporal changes during the 21st century due to climate change. City centre and industrial districts were identified as the places with the greatest heat stress hazard. The number of heat stress days in a year (as predicted for the 21st century) is increasing, meaning that heat-related illnesses are more likely to have a direct impact on workers' health. © University of Warsaw-Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies.

Blazejczyk K.,University of Warsaw | Kuchcik M.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Blazejczyk A.,Bioklimatologia Laboratory Of Bioclimatology And Environmental Ergonomics | Milewski P.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Szmyd J.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Erde | Year: 2014

The paper presents a new approach to the study of the spatial variability of heat stress in urban areas. The Universal Thermal Climate Index UTCI was applied for this purpose. The spatial variability of UTCI at the local scale was studied using examples of urban areas with different sizes and geographical locations. The experimental research on urban heat stress was conducted in Warsaw. The research covers both differences between UTCI in urban to rural areas as well as the variation of heat stress within small residential districts in Warsaw. We found a very large and significant heat stress gradient between downtown Warsaw and rural stations. Spatial variability of UTCI was also observed in microclimate research. A modelling approach was presented based on examples from Warsaw, a city with a population of almost 2 million, as well as examples from several spa towns with populations of up to 40,000 located in various parts of Poland. GIS analysis (ArcGIS for Desktop and IDRISI) was applied for this purpose.

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