Journal article

A new 'bio-comfort' perspective for Melbourne based on heat stress, air pollution and pollen

Stephanie J Jacobs, Alexandre B Pezza, Vaughan Barras, John Bye

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOMETEOROLOGY | SPRINGER | Published : 2014

Abstract

Humans are at risk from exposure to extremes in their environment, yet there is no consistent way to fully quantify and understand the risk when considering more than just meteorological variables. An outdoor 'bio-comfort' threshold is defined for Melbourne, Australia using a combination of heat stress, air particulate concentration and grass pollen count, where comfortable conditions imply an ideal range of temperature, humidity and wind speed, acceptable levels of air particulates and a low pollen count. This is a new approach to defining the comfort of human populations. While other works have looked into the separate impacts of different variables, this is the first time that a unified b..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions greatly improved the text. We would also like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency of Victoria and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for providing PM<INF>10</INF> and meteorological data, respectively. We also thank Prof. Ed Newbigin from the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne for useful suggestions and discussions, and for sending the pollen data for Melbourne. A. B. Pezza would like to acknowledge the Australian Research Council for funding parts of this work.