Climate change means heat – lesser thought of, is that it also means humidity. That’s important because humid heat impairs our ability to sweat, making it more dangerous than dry heat alone. A new study published in Science Advances, identifies thousands of deadly humid-heat weather combinations over 5 continents, with hotspots on the US Gold Coast and the Persian Gulf.
We have an upper physiological limit at a wet-bulb temperature (TW) of 35°C at which point the human body is no longer able to cool itself and starts to overheat.
“Previous studies projected that this would happen several decades from now, but this shows it’s happening right now,” the study’s lead author Colin Raymond told WIRED. “The times these events last will increase, and the areas they affect will grow in direct correlation with global warming.”