Estimating summertime heat stress in a tropical Indian city using Local Climate Zone (LCZ) framework

Author: Rajashree Kotharkara, Aveek Ghosha, Varun Kotharkar

Year: 2021

Published in: Urban Climate Volume 36, March 2021, 100784

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlights the projected increase in heat wave (HW) frequency, intensity, and duration. Globally, HW events have caused massive deaths in the past. India has also experienced severe HWs and thousands have reportedly died during the past decade. The study uses the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification developed by Stewart and Oke (2012) for evaluating heat stress at the city level during the summer period. Stationery surveys were conducted to collect micro-meteorological data in different LCZs. The study analyses the unique behaviour of mapped LCZs in Nagpur, a tropical landlocked Indian city using widely adopted heat indices (heat index and humidex). It investigates two kinds of probabilities, the distribution of heat stress levels in a particular LCZ and how vulnerable are various LCZs to a given heat stress level. It adopts a statistical approach fitting a predictive logit model to estimate the probability of heat stress in various LCZs. The results show that temperature regimes differ significantly across the LCZs. Secondly, heat stress varies greatly depending upon the LCZs. The mapping scheme and the corresponding heat stress provides indispensable information for targeted heat response planning and heat stress mitigation strategies in heat-prone areas.