Effect of Acclimatization and Thermal History on Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Hot-Humid Area of China
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Past indoor studies show that people’s thermal comfort differ between different climate zones in China. However, whether this phenomenon also applies to outdoor thermal comfort is less understood, which is the focus of this study. We conducted meteorological measurements to calculate the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) and compared it with thermal comfort survey in Guangzhou and Zhuhai (n = 4283) in September 2018. When UTCI was 28–38 °C (moderate to strong heat stress), the mean thermal sensation vote of local Guangdong respondents was significantly lower than respondents from the cold zone and hot summer, cold winter zone, indicating the influence of acclimatization. The same results apply to respondents who have been indoor with air-conditioning, but not for those who have been in outdoor, exposed environment. Outdoor residency time and thermal expectation in transient environment could affect the difference in thermal perception between Chinese people from various climate zones.
KeywordsThermal comfort Thermal history Acclimatization Climate zone UTCI
This research was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (No. 2018A030310307), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 41875015) and National Natural Science Foundation—Outstanding Youth Foundation (No. 41622502) as well as Key projects of Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (No 2018B030311068). This study was approved by the medical ethics committee of the School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University—project number 2018—no. 041. The ethics committee member is Tao Hao. The data obtained by the survey in this study were anonymized. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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