When days and nights are too hot, city dwellerswill be the first to encounter problems. A silent killer that takes more lives than hurricanes or floods is heat. The heat waves that hit Europe in 2003 led to the deaths of more than 70 thousand people. Almost 20 thousand of them lived in France. Many elderly Parisians prepared for death in their apartments. Since 1986, the number of deaths due to heat waves has continued to increase. In the future, with the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and rapid climate change, heat waves will continue to break records all over the planet. But is humanity ready for extreme heat?
Why is abnormal heat dangerous?
The temperature will probably continue to rise, whilewhile carbon dioxide, methane and other gases will heat the planet. Heat waves (they are called unusually warm weather that lasts two or more days) will be longer and hotter. In addition to deaths, scientists are beginning to document other negative effects of climate change: the heat seems to deprive us of sleep and poorly affects our performance. So, heat reduces mental ability by an average of 13%. This conclusion was made by scientists from Harvard University, whose work was published in the journal Plos One. Despite the fact that many see heat as a nuisance rather than a threat, climate change, extreme heat and human health are interconnected. After 20 years, heat waves can become a very serious problem. Thus, according to the estimates of the report presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), the number of days a year higher with temperatures above 35 ° C will increase, and average summer temperatures will reach new heights if greenhouse gas emissions will remain the same.
This is interesting: How will temperature + 48 ° C change cities on Earth?
Heat takes more lives than floodshurricanes and other natural disasters related to the weather. The human body does not tolerate excessive heat. The biological and chemical processes that support life in us work best at body temperatures from 36 ° C to 37 ° C. The human body is always trying to get rid of excessive heat. Blood vessels dilate, and heart rate increases. This enhances the flow of blood to the skin, where the blood can generate heat for cooling. In the same way, we sweat to refresh the skin. However, the body cannot constantly adapt to extreme heat. The human body has a limit. So, strong heat waves can cause weakness, dizziness and nausea, as well as heat stroke.
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Who is at risk?
No one is safe from the heat, however hightemperatures affect some groups more than others. Older people are considered the most vulnerable. The fact is that their bodies have less sweat glands, and also respond more slowly to fever. In children, the ability to regulate body temperature is not fully developed, and in pregnant women this process is complicated due to the fetus. People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity can also experience poor health. However, the poor can suffer the most because of the lack of air conditioning and other resources to withstand extremely hot conditions.
Recently, scientists are increasingly studyingthe effect of high temperatures on human health. So, according to a study by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat adversely affects sleep quality. During preparation for sleep, body temperature decreases, respectively, the higher the temperature in the room, the heavier the sleep. Extremely high temperatures have a negative effect on human health, often leading to an exacerbation of chronic diseases and premature death. It turns out that humanity is not ready for the annual increase in temperatures and heat waves. The only solution that can prevent such a gloomy, hot future is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Do you think that in the future the world will be shaken by heat waves? Let's discuss this in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat.