Geo-Spatial Heat Index and Comfort Analysis of Port Harcourt City: An Approach to Environmental Health Care Delivery

  • Nwaerema Peace Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Bridget Edewede Diagi Department of Environmental Management, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria
  • Ajiere Suzan Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Keywords: geo-spatial, temperature, heat index, land use type, caution level, danger level, health

Abstract

This research examined the geo-spatial heat index and comfort analysis of Port Harcourt city as an approach to environmental health care delivery. Temperature data were generated from different land use types across days of the week in both wet (April to September) and dry (October to March) seasons. Heat index was derived when air temperature and dew point temperature of the locations were corresponded in the heat index chart or data logger calculator. Findings indicate that the city had experienced danger levels of discomfort above 41oC in the late dry season of January, February and March showing that heat cramps and heat exhaustion as well as heat stroke were probably to occur with continued activity of a person. On the other hand, early dry season of October, November and December had the best human comfort period of < 26.7oC temperature except Thursday and Friday with caution level of 27 to 32°C in the city of Port Harcourt; though fatigue was possible as prolonged exposure could result to heat cramps. High residential/commercial and administrative/industrial land uses had the highest human discomfort indicating that those living in these land use types would suffer extreme hazard of heat stroke. However, recreation and rural sites were the most comfortable land use types. Young children and old people are generally in more danger to the heat effects as the city has exceeded the 27oC thermal comfort threshold. It is therefore recommended that city planners and development practitioners should implement urban green policy of tree planting with special attention to residential/commercial and administrative/industrial areas without further delay in order to cushion the deadly menace of urban heat in Port Harcourt city and its environs.

Published
2019-12-12
Section
Articles