Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

Close this search box.
Close this search box.

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

The Effect of Heat Waves on Human Health by City Tech Blogger Angelica Garcia

Heat waves are defined as a period of extreme hot weather that usually lasts two or more days. To be considered a heat wave, the average historical temperature for a given area needs to be exceeded. When a high-pressure system is generated in the atmosphere over a region for several days, a heat wave is formed. It creates a mass of hot air which stays still for many days and weeks. This results in more heat getting trapped and convection currents being reduced. The high pressure acts as a barrier and forces the air mass to go to the earth’s surface, preventing heat from rising. The hot mass of air accumulates only heat and humid air and therefore causes high temperatures. Exposure to extreme heat and heat waves can cause significant public health problems.

As climate change escalates, heat waves will become more frequent, increasing the health risk to everyone, especially the elderly and young children. Heat can affect human health by overwhelming people’s physiological ability to manage heat, which harms the basic function of the human body to regulate temperature. Heat waves can affect the body temperature regulating mechanisms of sweating and breathing and can also lead to dehydration. Heat waves can also cause heat stroke, which is the most serious heat related illness. Heat stroke is a condition resulting from exposure to heat wherein the body becomes unable to cool itself, resulting in an increase of body temperature. According to the World Health Organization, “rapid rises in heat gain due to exposure to hotter than average conditions compromises the body’s ability to regulate temperature and can result in a cascade of illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia.”  Heat waves are a serious matter and should be taken as such, because they can lead to death. Individuals should take action in the meantime to help reduce the effects of heat waves. Doing simple things such as keeping the temperature in your home below 32 ° C during the daytime and 24 ° C at night can help. Opening windows to reduce the heat load can help with heat. In addition, keeping the body cool can also help: taking cool showers, drinking a lot of water, and wearing light, loose-fitting clothing are some examples. Heat waves are extremely dangerous and are becoming a bigger issue; therefore, we need to adapt and take action before more people become ill.








Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


More Posts Like This


My Take On Climate Change

Climate change has been around for a long time on this planet and is a very important topic to know about as it is our home. Climate change has caused weather distortion, prices to increase and stress to infrastructures which results in them having the ability to be broken down


My Take On Climate Change

Climate change poses a significant threat to our planet and impacts our daily lives in various ways. In my opinion, addressing climate change should be a top priority for everyone in the world as its consequences affect all aspects of life.   To get to the root of the


My Take on Climate Change: Let’s Remain Optimistic

In case there were still doubts, climate change is happening and taking place quickly. Humanity is responsible for this ongoing change and although we already live with the consequences, we can still do something to help make a positive impact. Over the years, human waste was become a