In this paper, relationship between flowering of cherry blossom and warming was investigated including effects of dormancy breaking in winter in recent years. Before 1990, the main factor of cherry blossom flowering was able to be explained only mean temperature in March, at most of the weather stations. However after 1991, the necessity of adding the winter minimum temperature to it was suggested. It was clarified that after 1991, the region which flowering of cherry blossom delayed due to increase of winter temperature extended from Kyushu to some points of Honshu. In Choshi, there were many warm winter that mean minimum temperature were more than 5 degrees and delay of the flowering dates were remarkable after 1991. Therefore it is concluded that winter warming have delayed the dormancy breaking of cherry blossom, and finally delay of the flowering dates occurred in larger area in recent years.
The present study surveyed the occurrence of heat disorders and actual conditions of hydration status among greenhouse agricultural workers, with the aim of clarifying heat disorders prevention measures in this specific population.
The survey was conducted in a total of 257 individuals working in greenhouses near Kasukabe City of Saitama Pref. and near Ube City of Yamaguchi Pref. This self-administered survey contained questions on history of heat disorders, symptoms associated with heat disorders, and hydration status before, due to performing agricultural work.
Self-assessments completed by the participants described 76 workers (29.6%) with a history of heat disorders, 126 (49.0%) with no history of heat disorders, 52 (20.2%) who did not understand the symptoms of heat disorders, and 3 (1.2%) without a response. Of the workers without a history of heat disorders and workers who did not understand the symptoms, 70 (55.6%) and 42 (80.8%) workers actually exhibited subjective symptoms of heat disorders, respectively. Concerning hydration status, 50 (19.7%), 19 (7.6%), and 25 (9.8%) workers did not hydrate themselves before, during, and after agricultural work, respectively, indicating that the number of workers who did not hydrate themselves before performing agricultural work was particularly high (p<0.05). We further analyzed individuals who did not hydrate themselves before performing agricultural work and found 9 (11.8%) workers with a history of heat disorders, 33 (26.4%) workers without a history of heat disorders, and 8 (16.0%) workers who did not understand the symptoms of heat disorders.
The survey results for symptoms of heat disorders showed that many workers had a history of heat disorders. However, many workers also appeared to have actually developed heat disorders among those who thought they did not have a history of heat disorders and among those who did not have an appropriate understanding of the symptoms. As a preventive measure against heat disorders among greenhouse agricultural workers, a proper understanding of the concept of heat disorders represents an essential first step.
There are a lot of land names in Japan which literally mean sunshine and sunshade and they are called “HINATA” and “HIKAGE” toponyms, respectively. This study collected them from all names of “KOAZA” (a small sub-district) in the old cadastral registers of formerly Munehi Village, Nara Prefecture, Japan, and investigated the sunshine duration and the solar radiation rate in these areas by using GIS. The “HIKAGE” (sunshade) areas have lower elevation, lower sky factor, and shorter insolation time than “HINATA” (sunshine) areas. The aspects of the “HIKAGE” areas range from northeast to northwest, while most of the “HINATA” areas are located on the southwest or south facing slopes. The diffuse and direct solar irradiation of the “HIKAGE” areas at winter solstice are 81 and 21 percent of those of the “HINATA”. However, the houses and arable fields are distributed on both areas, and the recent residents rarely use these “KOAZA” names and do not remember much about the characteristics of the areas.
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