Health risk appraisal of urban thermal environment and characteristic analysis on vulnerable populations
Continuous global warming and frequent extreme high temperatures keep the urban climate health risk increasing, seriously threatening residents’ emotional health. Therefore, analysis on spatial distribution of the health risk that the urban heat island (UHI) effect imposes on emotional health as well as basic research on the characteristics of vulnerable populations need to be conducted. This study, with Tianjin city as the case, analyzed data from Landsat remote-sensing images, meteorological stations, and digital maps, explored the influence of summer UHI effect on distress (a typical negative emotion factor) and its spatiotemporal evolution, and conducted difference analysis on the age groups, genders, family state, and distress levels of vulnerable populations. The results show: (1) During the period of 1992–2020, the level and area of UHI influence on residents’ distress drastically increased–influence level elevated from level 2–4 to level 4–7, and highlevel influence areas were concentrated in six districts of central Tianjin. (2) Influence of the UHI effect on distress varied in different age groups–generally dropping with fluctuations as residents got older, especially residents aged 50–59. (3) Men experienced a W-shaped pattern in distress and were more irritable and unsteady emotionally; while women were more sensitive to distress in the beginning, but they became more placid as temperature got higher. (4) Studies on family status show that couples living together showed sound heat resistance in the face of heat stress, while middle-aged and elderly people living alone or with children were relatively weak in adjusting to high ambient temperature.
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