A human comfort climatology of the British Isles.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 08:54 by A. M. (Anne M.) Mumford
This thesis describes an attempt to devise a human comfort climatology of the British Isles using social survey methods, and, as such is a departure from previous work which used either controlled experiments or simplified energy balance models. A Likert scale questionnaire was administered to 750 people in a street survey in order to elicit their views of the weather, and its results related to the measured weather. The response was found to be related to a linear combination of the Windchill and Temperature Humidity Indices, cloud cover, pressure and presence or absence of precipitation. This 'Index of Human Comfort' was calculated for the synoptic stations using a sample of U.K. Daily Weather Report data with the data being stratified according to the Lamb Natural Seasons. These data are instantaneous recordings and as such reflected the true covariance of the data unlike mean data which have been used in most earlier work. The examination of the spatial and temporal variation in the mean and standard deviation of the Index of Human Comfort revealed distinct seasonal differences although latitude and proximity to the coast were important controls in all seasons with Southern inland areas being the most favoured for human comfort. The use of instantaneous data also allowed a consideration of the maxima and minima of the Index and its range which again revealed a North to South and coast to inland improvement in human comfort. The thesis concludes with some recommendations for future research which include the need for the development of improved methodologies for the study of the relationship between man and weather and the ways in which a human comfort climatology can be derived, either indirectly by synthesis from an index of comfort, or directly by eliciting people's views on the climate rather than the weather.