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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Warming + humidity may mean biannual heatwaves >40°C [104°F] ; Super-heatwaves of 55°C [131°F] to emerge if global warming continues

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09 Aug 2017 04:38 AM PDT  Read full ScienceDaily article here

the combinations of [high heat and humidity will] leave ever more people exposed to significant health risks, especially in East Asia and America’s East Coast.

Warm air combined with high humidity can be very dangerous as it prevents the human body from cooling down through sweating, leading to hyperthermia. As a result, if global warming trends continue, many more people are expected to suffer sun strokes, especially in densely populated areas of India, China and the US….

…the effect of relative humidity on heatwaves’ magnitude and peak might be underestimated in current research. The results of the study support the need for urgent mitigation and adaptation action to address the impacts of heatwaves, and indicate regions where new adaptation measures might be necessary to cope with heat stress.

Simone Russo, Jana Sillmann, Andreas Sterl. Humid heat waves at different warming levels. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07536-7

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