The Tokyo Olympics, starting July 23, will be remembered for three things: a complete lack of spectators, being postponed a year because of a pandemic and searing heat.
Sustainability scientist Jennifer Vanos, an Arizona State University biometeorologist in the School of Sustainability, has been studying the latter for more than two years, publishing a suite of papers on subjects including planning for spectator thermal comfort, a climatological analysis and the need to integrate heat management among athletes, climatologists, events operators, public health officials and emergency medical technicians.
Part of Vanos’ research focused on big-picture climatological understanding of Tokyo. The other part honed in on urban differences. “Average temperatures will differ depending on where in the city you are, and the humidity can differ to get them to be higher on the coast than if you’re inland a little bit or in the city where there’s a little bit less sources of moisture from the ocean,” Vanos said.