European heat stress to reach critical levels under climate change conditions

Casanueva A, Kotlarski S, Fischer A, Schwierz C, Lemke B, Kjellstrom T, Liniger MA

Heatwaves are among the most dangerous natural hazards, being associated with considerable effects on the population. Under hot conditions the human body is able to regulate its core temperature via sweat evaporation, but this ability is reduced when the air humidity is very high. These conditions invoke heat stress which, in turn, may cause dehydration, hyperthermia and heat stroke. Heat stress is a major problem for vulnerable groups of the population and also constitutes an important threat for European workers with potential major impacts on workers' health and productivity.