Humans are unable to endure as much heat as previously thoughtScience
With high-temperature records shattered from England to Japan and over two thousand people died from raging wildfires and extreme heat in Spain and Portugal, evidence shows that millions more people could be at risk of dangerous temperatures sooner than later.
As climate change continues to significantly increase the temperature, scientists are working rapidly to understand the limits of humans’ resilience to extreme heat. Recent research has indicated that heat stress tolerance in people may be lower than previously assumed; if true, many people could be at risk of succumbing to extreme temperatures.
“Evidence shows that millions of people could be at risk of dangerous temperatures sooner than expected. “
Europe experienced extreme heat alerts in June; continuing through July, the rising temperatures ignited wildfires and worsened drought. The UK reached 40.3° C in Coningsby, breaking its hottest-ever record on July 19. In France, thousands were forced to evacuate their homes after a number of heat fuelled fires.
The heat can take a toll on human health, causing heat stroke, which is often fatal, heat cramps and heat exhaustion. There is an increased risk of kidney and heart disease due to dehydration. It can decrease our ability to focus and increase aggression, ultimately changing how we behave.