To be released during the 21st International Congress of Biometeorology in Durham, United Kingdom, in September 2017, this special issue presents 13 articles that collectively reflect upon the recent history and advances of both the International Society of Biometeorology (ISB), and this journal, the International Journal of Biometeorology (IJB), both of which have recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.
The first three articles in this supplement relate to the society and journal as a whole. First, Sheridan and Allen provide a history of the evolution of the IJB over its 60 volumes, including the different themes and its most influential articles. Next, Keatley discusses the past decade of the society, which builds upon previous decadal histories of the society (e.g., Tromp 1976; Weihe 1997), providing an overview of the society’s many initiatives in recent years. Greene and Rietveld then give a retrospective on the history of ISB’s most prestigious award, the Tromp Award for young scientists, along with a discussion of life and legacy of its namesake, Dr. Solco Tromp, one of the founders of ISB.
The next several articles each focus upon specific subdisciplines of biometeorology. First, Jendritzky and Höppe discuss the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), the culmination of decades of development of heat budget models to assess the effects of the thermal environment on the human body; the UTCI has arguably been the most visible project associated with the ISB in recent decades, and was featured in a special issue in 2012 (Jendritzky et al. 2012). Next, Donnelly and Yu discuss the history of phenology within ISB, particularly as reflected in IJB publications over its 60 years, integrating the evolution of the field with technological changes and the awareness of climate change. Beggs et al. continue this theme by discussing the evolution of articles related to aerobiology in IJB over the journal’s history along with highlighting research needs and gaps. Hondula et al. assess IJB publications in one of the fields that have considerably grown in recent years, and a topic that overlaps with many foci of the journal, from human health to ecosystems. Ebi and Hess next discuss the development of our understanding of the human health risks associated with climate change and variability, one of the most consistent areas of growth in terms of IJB manuscripts over time. Finally, Mehdipoor et al. synthesize some of the narratives of the evolution of biometeorological research in terms of a discussion of emerging technologies and their present and future roles.
The final four articles reflect updates from several commissions and groups within the ISB. Since its inception, due to the diversity of the field of biometeorology, the need for some specific working groups has risen; the fruits of which can be seen in numerous arenas such as the UTCI work discussed above. With an eye on the future of the society, the Students and New Professionals (SNP) group, founded in 2008, is aimed at broadening the membership and reach of the Society by mentoring and integrating new members into the biometeorological community. In a pair of papers, Vanos et al. first discuss some of the SNP’s key activities in recent years, and Allen et al. discuss one of their key projects, an assessment of biometeorological education and the difficulties faced by the significant breadth of disciplines that collectively define the field. In the final pair of papers, De Freitas, and Fernandez de Arroyabe and Tapanes Robau describe the activities of two longstanding commissions within ISB, the Climate, Tourism, and Recreation commission and the Climate and Human Health commission.
Jendritzky G, de Dear R, Havenith G (2012) UTCI - why another thermal index? Int J Biometeorol 56:421–428
Tromp SW (1976) The twentieth anniversary of the International Society of Biometeorology 1 January 1956–1 January 1976. Int J Biometeorol 20:71–91
Weihe WH (1997) Review on the history of the International Society of Biometeorology. Int J Biometeorol 40:9–15
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Sheridan, S.C. The Journal and Society turn 60. Int J Biometeorol 61, 1–2 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-017-1411-4