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Assessment of human thermal perception in the hot-humid climate of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Ndetto, Emmanuel L., Matzarakis, Andreas
International journal of biometeorology 2017 v.61 no.1 pp. 69-85
bioclimate, bioclimatology, cities, climate models, coasts, heat stress, humans, questionnaires, sensation, surveys, temperate zones, temperature, tropics, urban areas, urban planning, warm season, Indian Ocean, Tanzania
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is a typical African city along the Indian Ocean coast, and therefore an important urban area to examine human thermal perception in the hot-humid tropical climate. Earlier research on human bioclimate at Dar es Salaam indicated that heat stress prevails during the hot season from October to March, peaking between December and February, particularly the early afternoons. In order to assess the human thermal perception and adaptation, two popular places, one at an urban park and another at a beach environment, were selected and questionnaire surveys were conducted in August–September 2013 and January 2014, concurrently with local micro-meteorological measurements at survey locations. The thermal conditions were quantified in terms of the thermal index of the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) using the micro-scale climate model RayMan. The thermal comfort range of human thermal comfort and the local thermal adaptive capacity were determined in respect to the thermal index by binning thermal sensation votes. The thermal comfort range was found to be well above that in temperate climates at about 23–31 °C of PET. The study could significantly contribute to urban planning in Dar es Salaam and other coastal cities in the tropics.