Summary: Global maps for human thermal environments
The relevance of climate for thermal comfort can be described by a combination of a heat budget model of the human being and the relevant climate elements. Global bioclimate maps are based on results of climate simulation models with coupled atmosphere-ocean model ECHAM4/MPI-OM and the »Klima-Michel-Model« of Deutscher Wetterdienst.
Here the two periods 1970-1980 and 1941-1950 in T106-resolution (about 100 km in middle latitudes) have been used. Comfortable conditions mainly occur in the maritime influenced middle latitudes. At least cold stress can be found in Antarctica and Greenland and permanent heat load in the humid tropics.
The comparison of global maps for 1971 to 1980 (control run, assumed as status-quo) and future climate for 2041 to 2050 for the GHG scenario »business-as-usual« shows, as expected, basically a clear decrease in cold stress and a corresponding increase in heat load, while thermal comfort conditions show different trends.
In particular the climate change scenario indicates areas where the need for adaptation is most pressing, for instance in the tropics and subtropics, but also in the middle latitutes. Although the confidence in climate change simulations is still low on regional scale.