International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 5–19 | Cite as

The geographical application of some selected physio-climatic indices to Africa

  • W. H. Terjung
Article

Abstract

Africa was seasonally analyzed by 4 different indices:Effective Temperature, Predicted 4-hr Sweat Rate, Relative Strain and Still-Air Temperature. These classifications were applied to approximately 800 station on the continent, resulting in 9 maps which were reduced from an original scale of 1:15,000,000.Some of the major findings indicate that areas often considered as "tropical" actually indicate lesser climatic stress than those in very hot-dry regions or transition areas between very hot-dry and hot-humid. The northern hemisphere summer is by far the most severe, physiologically, over vast areas of northern Africa. Regions of greatest stress are located along the southern Red Sea, interior southern Somalia and, to a lesser degree, the Djouf Basin and Bodele Depression. The year-round mildest areas occur most frequently in parts of the eastern highlands and Atlantic coast (those influenced by cold currents). Few really oppressive conditions during nighttime could be observed.

Zusammenfassung

Afrika wird jahreszeitlich nach 4 verschiedenen Indices analysiert: effektive Temperatur, vorhergesagte 4-stündige Schweissmenge,Relative Belastung und Temperatur bei Windstille. Diese Klassifizierung wurde bei etwa 800 Stationen des Kontinents angewandt. Sie ergab 8 Karten, die vom ursprünglichen Massstab von 1:15 000 000 reduziert wurden. Einige der Hauptergebnisse zeigen, dass Gebiete, die oft als "tropisch" angesehen werden, in Wirklichkeit eine geringere klimatische Belastung aufweisen, als die in sehr warm-trockenen oder in Ubergangsgebieten zwischen sehr heiss-trocken und heiss-feucht. Der Sommer der nördlichen Hemisphäre ist über weiten Gebieten Nordafrikas bei weitem die physiologisch belastendste Jahreszeit.Gebiete mit grösster Belastung liegen längs des südlichen Roten Meeres, im inneren südlichen Somalia, in geringem Ausmass im Djouf-Becken und der Bodele-Mulde. Die im Jahresverlauf mildesten Gebiete liegen am häufigsten in Teilen der östlichen Hochländer und der Atlantikküste, die durch kalte Strömungen beeinflusst wird. Nur wenig wirklich drückende Bedingungen wurden während der Nacht beobachtet.

Resume

On analyse par saison le climat de l'Afrique selon quatre critères différents: la température effective, la quantité de sueur prévue pour 4 heures, la tension relative des individus et la température par temps calme.On a appliqué ces critères à environ 800 stations du dit Continent. Il en est résulté 9 cartes qui ont été ensuite réduites à l'échelle de 1:15 000 000.Un des principaux résultats est de démontrer que des régions qui sont souvent considérées comme "tropicales"sont moins éprouvantes pour l'homme que ce n'est le cas dans des climats secs et très chauds ou dans des zones de transition entre les climats très chauds-secs et chauds-humides. L'été de l'hémisphère nord est de loin le plus rude, physiologiquement parlant, et cela surtout dans de vastes régions de l'Afrique du Nord.Les régions offrant le climat le plus éprouvant sont situées sur les côtes sud de la Mer Rouge, à l'intérieur de la Somalie du sud et, mais à un degré moindre,dans le Bassin du Djouf et dans la dépression de Bodele. Les régions les meilleures tout le long de l'année se rencontrent en général dans certaines partie des hauts plateaux de l'est ainsi que sur les côtes de l'Atlantique où l'on rencontre des courants frais. On n'enregistre que peu de conditions vraiment éprouvantes pendant la nuit.

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Copyright information

© N.V. Swets & Zeitlinger 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. Terjung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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