Mean radiant temperature – A predictor of heat related mortality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Abstract Health studies have repeatedly used air temperature (Ta), sometimes adjusted for humidity, when analyzing the impact of weather on mortality. The aim of this study is to highlight the importance of mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) and its impact on heat related mortality. Tmrt is an essential meteorological parameter that influences the thermal comfort (heat load) of humans. It is useful when assessing the impact of weather, especially heat, on peopleâs health. Tmrt is directly influenced by urban geometry and surface material, which also makes it a good measure to identify urban hot spots. The performance of models using Ta and Tmrt for daily mortality is compared for Stockholm County, Sweden. It is demonstrated that Tmrt models fit heat related mortality better than Ta models, which implies that health studies should consider using Tmrt rather than Ta. The use of Tmrt models allows us to determine more accurate thresholds for increased risks of heat related mortality, and thus to better identify adverse weather conditions and heat prone urban geometries. Such information is needed to implement heat-warning systems and mitigate harmful effects of heat stress.


  • Sofia Thorsson
  • Joacim Rocklöv
  • Janina Konarska
  • Fredrik Lindberg
  • Björn Holmer
  • Bénédicte Dousset
  • David Rayner
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


  • Mean radiant temperature, Heat stress, Heat related mortality, Hot spots
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-345
JournalUrban Climate
Volume10, Part 2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes