It’s Getting Hot out Here: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Thermal Comfort and Heat Related Mortality in the Melbourne Region

Nicole Joffe

The project explored the impact of climate change on human thermal comfort and heat related mortality in the Melbourne region. The research utilises the outputs of a number of Global Climate Models (GCM) that were used in the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007. The project involved determination of grid cells that are appropriately situated over each Australian capital city (excluding Hobart and Canberra) for the GCMs and extrapolation of meteorological data for the periods 1981-2000, 2046-2065 and 2081-2100. Temperature, humidity, wind speed and radiation data were used from the GCM, as well as the Bureau of Meteorology to undertake a number of calculations with the help of the program RayMan to establish the level of human thermal comfort of a office worker (appropriately dressed for the season), in each time frame and city. Inter-comparisons to determine the temporal and spatial changes were executed. Furthermore, GCM daily maximum and night time minimum temperatures were used in the Melbourne area to project the likelihood of Melbournians, over the age of 65, experiencing heat related mortality.

Prof Jason Beringer and Prof Nigel Tapper

Jose Tomas Burger King