Document Type : Full length article
Geographical Sciences Department, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran
Weather conditions have a significant impact on the tourism sector, especially coastal tourism. Variations in the climate elements brought on by global warming may present challenges for this sector of tourism. This study aims to evaluate variations of climate elements in coastal regions of Hormozgan Province using the outputs of Global Climate Models (GCMs) and to identify how these differences affect the thermal comfort of coastal visitors to this area. Daily and monthly data of eight synoptic stations were used for the base period 1990–2019, along with the outputs of five GCMs for the near- and the far-future time periods of 2020–2050 and 2050–2100, respectively, based on tow Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. scenarios). The PMV index was then extracted to evaluate travelers' thermal comfort. The research findings showed that January, February, and December were regarded as thermally stress-free or neutral for coastal tourism during the base period in all the analyzed stations. While April through October were hot and very hot, March and November were just moderately warm. Only The Minab station experienced intolerable conditios in July and August. Both scenarios projected monthly shifts in thermal comfort for visitors in the near and far future. Neutral thermal conditions will restricted to January and February, while months with no heat stress to moderate warm will change to warm and humid months and intolerable circumstances will worsen everywhere
As a result of the increase in greenhouse gases, it has recently been estimated that temperatures will rise between 0.4 and 2.6 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century and between 0.3 and 4.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century (IPCC AR5, 2014). These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on the number of tourists and the best time to travel.
According to ASHRAE (1972), thermal comfort is the state in which the brain is content with the environment's temperature. Thermally neutral conditions are another name for this circumstance (Fanger, 1970). According to Mieczkowski (1985), there are six factors that influence the degree of thermal comfort: two human factors, such as physical activity and clothing thermal resistance, and four environmental factors, such as air temperature, air vapor pressure, average radiant temperature, and wind speed. The degree of human thermal comfort in various Environments and conditions has been measured using various combinations of these parameters in various indices (more than 100 indices). The Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) stands out among thermal comfort indices because of its strong theoretical foundations, simplicity in computation, wide applicability, experimental evaluation, and consideration of all factors affecting the tourism climate (De Freitas et al., 2008).
Due to the year-round thermal comfort (Khorasani et al., 2015); specific geomorphological phenomena, such as marine terraces, diverse types of wind erosion, and distinctive landscapes; Beautiful islands and historical and cultural landmarks the coastlines of the Hormozgan Province have a great deal of tourism potential. Although earlier studies have noted an increase in temperature and a decrease in precipitation for these regions (Sharaf and Mir Karim, 2020; Ghasemi 2015), and projections have also confirmed the strengthening of these conditions until the end of this century (Mansouri Daneshvar et al. 2019; Parandin et al. 2019, Khoorani and Monjazeb Marvdashti, 2014), there has been very little research into changes in thermal comfort and tourism climate in the study area under climate change conditions. Valizadeh and Khoorani, 2022 projected a decrease in OTCI values for the future (until the end of this century) based on four large-scale climate models and two scenarios in Hormozgan province (including coastal and non-coastal areas). Based on the output of the HADCM3 model and two scenarios, Khoorani and Manjzeb Marvdashti, 2012, have predicted seasonal changes in the number of visitors for Hengam Island until the end of the 21st century (including an increase in summer and autumn and a decrease in spring and summer). Using the tourism climate information plan, Karimi et al. (2014) revealed comparable seasonal changes in the aesthetic, thermal, and physical components of the tourism climate along the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman beaches from 1979 to 2008. The aim of this study is to use PMV thermal index to anticipate how climate change may affect the tourism climate along Iran's southern coast in the province of Hormozgan. Monthly climate data of minimum and maximum temperature, sunshine hours and precipitation from 8 weather stations from 1990 to 2019 (for Gheshm station from 1996 to 2019) was downloaded from Iran Meteorological Organization.The data are projected for 2 time periods (near period 2020-2050 and far period 2050-2100) up to the end of the 21st century using an ensemble of 5 GCMs under 2 Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). The LARSWG-6 stochastic weather generator was used to downscale GCM outputs, and the PMV index was calculated for the Historic period (1990-2019), Near period (2020-2050), and Far future (2050-2100).
Results and Discussion
According to the PMV index for 1990-2019, the Bandar Abbas, Jask, Siri, Bandarlange, and Kish Island stations had good travel conditions in December, February, and January, as well as the Abu Musi Station in January and February, the Minab Station in February, and the Qeshm Island Station in December, March, and February.
The overall evaluation shows that, from May to October, the majority of the year is marked by varied degrees of heat stress. Only a few months, from December to March, make up the ideal thermal season. December and February are usually considered as favorable months by stations.
According to the RCP4.5 scenario for the near future (2020-2050), the PMV index of the Bandar Abbas, Bandar Jask, Qeshm, Siri, Abu Musi, Bandar Lange, and Kish stations in February and January, as well as the Minab station in January, indicates a favorable situation.
According to the RCP4.5 scenario, there will be an increase in the severity of heat stress in the far future (2100-2050) with August and July becoming unbearably hot. This increase will be greater than that in the past and the near future.
According to RCP8.5, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Jask, and Qeshm stations in December, February, and January; Siri station in February and January; and Abu Musa, Bandarlange, Minab, and Kish stations in January will be in good condition in the near future (2020-2050).
The intensity of heat stress would increase in the far future (2050-2100) compared to past periods, according to the RCP8.5 scenario. During the months of September, August, July, and June, the degrees of this increase will range from very hot to uncomfortable at most sites.
As a result of the changes in temperature and precipitation in the future periods, the suitable time period for travel and beach activities in Hormozgan province has shifted to January, February, and December, and due to the increase in temperature, the months with Low thermal tension will no longer have suitable conditions for beach activities and travel, and their condition will change to acceptable. These factors will cause seasonal shifts and diminish the optimal tourism climate conditions on Hormozgan's coastlines. It is suggested that future research develop a climate calendar for tourists visiting Hormozan province's coastal areas, taking into account the importance of climatic factors. It is also advised to use the projections from the outputs of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) GCMs in the future studies.
There is no funding support.
All of the authors approved the content of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.