Improvements in global sustainability, health, and equity will largely be determined by the extent to which cities are able to become more efficient, hospitable, and productive places. The development and evolution of urban areas has a significant impact on local and regional weather and climate, which subsequently affect people and other organisms that live in and near cities. Biometeorologists, researchers who study the impact of weather and climate on living creatures, are well positioned to help evaluate and anticipate the consequences of urbanization on the biosphere. Motivated by the 60th anniversary of the International Society of Biometeorology, we reviewed articles published in the Society’s International Journal of Biometeorology over the period 1974–2017 to understand if and how biometeorologists have directed attention to urban areas. We found that interest in urban areas has rapidly accelerated; urban-oriented articles accounted for more than 20% of all articles published in the journal in the most recent decade. Urban-focused articles in the journal span five themes: measuring urban climate, theoretical foundations and models, human thermal comfort, human morbidity and mortality, and ecosystem impacts. Within these themes, articles published in the journal represent a sizeable share of the total academic literature. More explicit attention from urban biometeorologists publishing in the journal to low- and middle-income countries, indoor environments, animals, and the impacts of climate change on human health would help ensure that the distinctive perspectives of biometeorology reach the places, people, and processes that are the foci of global sustainability, health, and equity goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of biometeorology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Climate
  • Comfort
  • Ecology
  • Health
  • Urban
  • Weather

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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