Evaluating long-term and high spatiotemporal resolution of wet-bulb globe temperature through land-use based machine learning model

Chin Yu Hsu, Pei Yi Wong, Yinq Rong Chern, Shih Chun Candice Lung, Chih Da Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The increase in global temperature and urban warming has led to the exacerbation of heatwaves, which negatively affect human health and cause long-term loss of work productivity. Therefore, a global assessment in temperature variation is essential. Objective: This paper is the first of its kind to propose land-use based spatial machine learning (LBSM) models for predicting highly spatial-temporal variations of wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which is a heat stress indicator used to assess thermal comfort in indoor and outdoor environments, specifically for the main island of Taiwan. Methods: To develop spatiotemporal prediction models for both the working period and noon period, we calculated the WBGT of each weather station from 2001 to 2019 using temperature, humidity, and solar radiation data. These WBGT estimations were then used as the dependent variable for developing the spatiotemporal prediction models. To enhance model performance, we used innovative approaches that combined SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) values for the selection of non-linear variables, along with machine learning algorithms for model development. Results: When incorporating temperature along with other land-use/land cover predictor variables, the performance of LBSM models was excellent, with an R2 value of up to 0.99. The LBSM models explained 98% and 99% of the spatial-temporal variations in WBGT for the working and noon periods, respectively, within the complete models. In the temperature-excluded models, the explained variances were 94% and 96% for the working and noon periods, respectively. Impact: WBGT is a common method used by many organizations to access the impact of heat stress on human beings. However, limited studies have mentioned the association between WBGT and health impacts due to the absence of spatiotemporal databases. This study develops a new approach using land-use-based spatial machine learning (LBSM) models to better predict the fine spatial-temporal WBGT levels, with a 50-m × 50-m grid resolution for both working time and noontime. Our proposed methodology could be used in future studies aimed at evaluating the potential long-term loss of work productivity due to the effects of global warming or urban heat island.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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