UHI and heat related mortality

From Arizona State University

Study links urbanization and future heat-related mortality

TEMPE, Ariz. – Phoenix stands at a parched crossroads. Global scale climate change is forecast to bring hotter summers and more extreme heat to the Valley, but regional urbanization also will impact temperatures experienced by residents.

So how should Phoenix grow knowing that such growth could cause temperatures to increase in the future and bring added health risks? Should the city deploy mitigating technologies to help fight summer’s heat? Would adopting a low-growth strategy reduce the adverse health consequences of hot weather?

New Arizona State University research examines the heat-health aspects resulting from urbanization and the challenge of sustainable future growth in Maricopa County. A study released this week shows how urban development could be a factor in the number of lives lost due to heat in future summers. The study is described in the article, “Challenges associated with projecting urbanization-induced heat-related mortality” published in the current online issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment.

“Extreme heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States,” said David Hondula, a postdoctoral scholar in health informatics in ASU’s Center for Policy Informatics and lead author of the study. “In Maricopa County, we see more than 100 premature deaths and hundreds of excess emergency department visits as a result of high temperatures each summer. Understanding how different urban development strategies will impact the health risks associated with heat can help long-term planners and public officials make more informed decisions that lead to sustainable and healthy cities.”

In the research, the team tried to quantify the number of excess deaths attributed to heat in Maricopa County based on three future urbanization and adaptation scenarios and multiple exposure variables. Two scenarios (low and high growth projections) represent the maximum possible uncertainty range associated with urbanization in central Arizona; a third represents an adaptation strategy by simulating the deployment of white roof technology to the area.

The researchers – in addition to Hondula included Matei Georgescu and Robert C. Balling Jr., both of ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning – related temperature to mortality using historical data from 1983 to 2007. Regional climate model simulations based on 2050-projected urbanization scenarios for Maricopa County generated distributions of temperature change, and from these changes in future excess heat-related mortality was estimated. They studied Maricopa County because it is a fast growing metropolitan area situated in a semi-arid region that experiences “chronic” heat during the summer months.

Overall, projections of heat related mortality ranged from a decrease of 46 deaths per year (-95 percent) to an increase of 339 deaths per year (+359 percent). Projections based on minimum temperature showed the greatest increase for all expansion and adaptation scenarios and were substantially higher than those for daily mean temperature. Projections based on maximum temperature were largely associated with declining mortality. Low growth and adaptation scenarios led to the smallest increase in predicted heat related mortality based on mean temperature projections.

Because of the environment in which it is built, increases in overnight minimum temperatures in Maricopa County associated with urbanization were found to be of much greater concern for health impacts compared to increases in daytime maximum temperatures. The same would be true in many other cities located in semi-arid regions.

“Future urbanization will lead to slightly lower summer daytime maximum temperatures in the urban core of Maricopa County compared to the surrounding natural landscape, because of the high heat retaining capacity of the built environment,” Matei Georgescu said. “Continued growth would enhance this effect in the future leading to further declines in daytime highs and associated declines in health risks. The tradeoff is that nighttime temperatures increase significantly with urbanization, and this nighttime warming is much greater than the expected daytime cooling.”

Hondula added that what this means for planners is that because heat impacts vary from day to night, projections of heat related health outcomes that do not consider place-based, time varying urban heat island effects are “neglecting essential elements for policy relevant decision-making.”

“The manner in which the Sun Corridor develops over the next several decades will impact the regional climate and, if no new adaptation measures are introduced, change the health risks for Maricopa County residents associated with extreme heat,” Hondula said. “The greatest health concern comes from large expected increases in nighttime temperatures which could be mitigated by lower-growth scenarios.”

“The next step is to look more closely at the conditions people experience on hot days, to ultimately determine if high maximum temperatures, minimum temperatures, or some combination of the two is the real culprit leading to adverse health events,” he added.

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64 thoughts on “UHI and heat related mortality

  1. The only way to counter this probable outcome is to run around in small circles screaming, “Doomed, we’re all doomed!”
    Good luck with that.

  2. How about this! A study that does not blame CO2 for heat-related deaths but names “urbanization” as the culprit. The global warmers will not like this one. No screeching about climate change, ghg forcing, none of that. Climatologists (97% of them ;-) ) will be gnashing their teeth at this study.

  3. A little late telling Phoenix that urbanization will make things hotter and less healthy.

  4. For some reason, this paper reminds me of that old joke:
    Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
    Doctor: “Then don’t do that.”

  5. But Christopher C. Burt, weather historian of the Weather Underground says the UHI effect on temperatures is bogus. I’m soooo confused!

  6. All the weather-related deaths together come to something like three or four hundred a year. This is approximately 0.03% of annual mortality. So completely trivial.

    Compare England with about 9000 deaths attributed to cold (compared to our 24) in a much smaller population. We must be doing something right (Social Security?), or they are doing something extremely wrong.

  7. In the 6 months I lived in Phoenix, the only effective way to deal with the heat was to stay indoors. The best way to deal with the heat in Maricopa County is: don’t go there.

  8. So it’s getting HOTTER, ea, when exactly will these records be broken?

    Highest Recorded Temperatures

    Below is a table of the highest recorded temperatures for each continent.

    Place……….- Date -…….. Fahrenheit

    North America (Death Valley), Calif., USA – July 10, 1913 – 134.0 F
    Asia Tirat Tsvi, Israel – June 21, 1942 – 129.2 F
    Africa1 Kebili, Tunisia – July 7, 1931 – 131.0 F
    Australia Oodnadatta, South Australia – Jan. 2, 1960 – 123.0 F
    Europe Athens, Greece – July 10, 1977 – 118.4 F
    South America Rivadavia, Argentina – Dec. 11, 1905 – 120.0 F
    Oceania Tuguegarao, Philippines – April 20, 1912 – 108.0 F
    Antarctica Vanda Station, Scott Coast – Jan. 5, 1974 – 59.0 F

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/

  9. Phoenix has bigger, more certain, problems: water. That aquifer they’re pumping on won’t last forever, and everybody wants a piece of the rivers they’re using. Even if the climate stands still, they’re heading for trouble.

  10. Understanding how different urban development strategies will impact the health risks associated with heat can help long-term planners and public officials make more informed decisions that lead to sustainable and healthy cities.”

    Somehow I suspect that the death of individuals from heat-related causes is not the top priority for urban planners in Phoenix. Rather, they ponder, “Can we continue to profit from building new developments here?” (despite inadequate supplies of water to support such communities).

    In some rather backwards reasoning the author claims that building out cities in the desert will add to those cities’ UHI, and thus to the likelihood of more heat-related deaths. As though the cities themselves were the problem. I only know enough about central Arizona heat in summer to not want to go there in summer. Note that my reluctance is not limited to just Phoenix. I’m sure that there’s a whopping big UHI effect that contribues to heat so intense that Phoenix residents race between their cars and the safety of air-conditioned offices and homes, eschewing the touch of sun-drenched metal or stone. It can literally fry your fingers, as I recall very well from several trips there. But the problem isn’t the UHI. Rumor has it that there’s a harsh desert stretching beyond the Phoenix city limits, persisting despite of the greenery and golf courses within the city. We didn’t cause it.

    It IS the sun, stupid.

    RE:

    rms says:
    June 2, 2014 at 9:18 am
    See http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml for stats from National Weather Service. Apparently 92 deaths in 2013 due to heat (below 10 year average), and 24 due to cold (marginally below 10 year average).

    As with the temperature records themselves (cherry picked, padded and “value-added” for effect), these records of cold- and heat-related causes of death remain highly questionable until the data used and criteria for cause of death fully explained. Til then, in my opinion, “heat-related deaths” remains fertile ground for more AGW distortion.

  11. “Future urbanization will lead to slightly lower summer daytime maximum temperatures in the urban core of Maricopa County compared to the surrounding natural landscape, because of the high heat retaining capacity of the built environment,”

    Is he insane? If heat is retained, temperatures rise.

  12. Future urbanization will lead to slightly lower summer daytime maximum temperatures in the urban core of Maricopa County compared to the surrounding natural landscape, because of the high heat retaining capacity of the built environment,”

    No one seems to mention that cities also have much higher albedo in the visible bands than vegetation (they show up as bright areas in Google Earth) which presumable makes them absorb less solar heat during the day. I’m not sure what the implications of that are – does it contribute to the days being slightly cooler?

  13. Glenn: he means that if the pavement cools down overnight, it will take longer to heat up in the morning than, say, a tree. Because it has a higher thermal inertia.

  14. Would think the biggest risk is not being able to afford to cool your dwelling. Unlike heating which can be done with a wide variety of options, Wood, Gas, Oil, electric, even solar if you build the house right, the only way to cool a house effectively requires electricity.

  15. That being said, one square foot of steel at 40 deg C feels hotter than one square foot of wood at 40 deg C, because the steel holds more heat and is more eager than the wood to share it with your hand.

  16. Michael D says:
    June 2, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Glenn: he means that if the pavement cools down overnight, it will take longer to heat up in the morning than, say, a tree. Because it has a higher thermal inertia.

    That makes no sense, nor is it what he said. The pavement will cool down less overnight, and since it is hotter, will take less time to “heat up” in the morning, and will heat up the atmosphere more by thermal transfer(heat).

    “An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon was first investigated and described by Luke Howard in the 1810s, although he was not the one to name the phenomenon.[1] The temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day, and is most apparent when winds are weak. Seasonally, UHI is seen during both summer and winter.

    The main cause of the urban heat island is modification of the land surface by urban development which uses materials which effectively retain heat.

    Waste heat generated by energy usage is a secondary contributor. As population centers grow they tend to modify a greater and greater area of land and have a corresponding increase in average temperature. The lesser-used term heat island refers to any area, populated or not, which is consistently hotter than the surrounding area.[2]”

    http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Urban_heat_island.html

  17. The libertarian answer is that Phoenix should not grow, and if it does, at it’s own peril.

    Native Americans left the Valley in summer for the higher, cooler, wetter Flagstaff region. This valley is tolerable for the invasive species ‘white man’ only because of electricity powered air conditioning from the 4 Corners coal plant located on a native American reservation, largest in the US, and fueled from their native American coal inked from their reservation. Obama wants that shut. No AC, no Phoenix. Will Obummer respect the remaining rights of native Americans, who are outside the reach of the EPA by treaty?. SCOTUS?

    Bigger reason is water. Phoenix has little. It draws on the Colorado, and the Colorado is overdrawn. So to provide water to LA, SD, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, ‘all’ the agriculture in the Ca central valley and northcentral Arizona gets shut down first.

    Let’s see, you can cook without AC (Obummer EPA solution), starve, or die of thirst. Ehrlich’s followers (like Holdren) might prefer all three simultaneously. Lib Dems might say, we will give you your liberal choice. If you like your AC, you can keep your AC until the power goes off. If you like your veggies, you can eat them until you cannot afford them. Sen. Reid probably says Phoenix goes before Las Vegas ( just like Yucca Mountain), and he has current control of the Senate.
    Vote accordingly in November.

    • @Rud Istvan – Interesting point that I had not thought about! Right now, Native Americans are opening Casinos to make money. But they will find operating power plants much more lucrative, especially when states give them some incentives! And they will be out of the jurisdiction of the feds.

      I see the Native Americans rising again! Take that pale face! ;-)

  18. And how many more deaths will result from the higher energy costs from the latest EPA rules ?
    Far more than from “global warming” .
    Are we creating more villages just to have more IDIOTS ?

  19. Aha, so that’s how they are going to deal with that pesky UHI that they had denied for so long as effecting the temp record. It is after all truly anthropogenic these buildings.

  20. Death in Phoenix is not from heat. If it were, hundreds of thousands would die every year. Death during heat is human failure to adapt. Drunks passed out in a ditch die from heat.

    “Unless a study predicting deaths can name who is going to die, dismiss it as speculation.” – GC

  21. I think the key term here is “premature deaths,” in other words, not the bodies of actual dead people found lying on the sidewalk or mummified in sealed tenement rooms, but models comparing age of death in a population to the age at which modelers think they ought to be dying.

  22. It is said:

    “Extreme heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States,” said David Hondula, a postdoctoral scholar in health informatics in ASU’s Center for Policy Informatics.

    Yet I find that a curious statement and I come across:

    Four homeless people dead of exposure, Santa Clara County officials say

    By Mark Emmons and Tracy SeipelMercury News
    Posted: 12/06/2013 02:36:23 PM PST
    Updated: 12/07/2013 01:24:54 PM PST

    SAN JOSE — The problem of homelessness in the Bay Area turned deadly as Santa Clara County officials announced Friday that four homeless men had died over eight days of hypothermia-related causes, including three in the previous 48 hours as a cold snap sent the region into a deep freeze.

    Now looking at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml in 2013 for even one cold death in California. See even one? I can’t find one.

    Could this be a case of some bad or incomplete data in this study. Are related deaths simply ignored such as from secondary disease, traffic and transportation, recreation, etc from the ice, snow and cold especially on infants and the elderly?

  23. do i here a cry for eugenics ["ecoscience"] on the horizon? mandatory abortions, forced sterilization, population control, and all that fun stuff. must have social order thus social control [best managed through fear]. vet out John Holdren.. “the meaning of sustainability” Holdren, Ehrlich, Daily. “A world of zero net physical growth—- require reductions in consumption”. a good read is “The State of Fear” by Micheal Crichton. how would you get more money from the overtaxed tax payer? Scare them. If the Islam-a-sheits did not blow up the Towers, this global warming crap would have occurred during the Geedoubaya years. “Draft Barry Goldwater” Dig that man up and put’em on the ticket.

  24. I’m not worried about proving the skeptics case that man does not make the climate of our planet change. I monitor solar activity on a daily basis. The sunspot number today is 68 and has been decreasing over the past few months. The solar wind speed has been low for a considerable period of time as well. I know the Sun’s current grand solar minimum will make a monkey out of proponents of man-made global warming in the not too distant future, and is going to be a bitter pill for them to swallow. I’m sorry we have to we have to do this the hard way but the Sun’s got our back.

  25. One problem with Phoenix weather is the humidity, which didn’t used to be a problem before all the watered greenery and trendy misters everywhere. The saying used to be something like: “116 in Phoenix today, but it’s a dry heat”. Now, not so much.

  26. What a stupid excuse for a study. Here’s an idea to mitigate heat related deaths in Maricopa County ….DON’T MOVE TO THE DESERT WHERE TEMPS REGULARLY AND NORMALLY EXCEED 110 DEGREES!

  27. Having grown up in Phoenix, perhaps I can lend some orienting perspective. First, the surrounding Sonoran desert is not the sand duned Sahara, and there is vegetation from low creosote bush to tall Saguaro cactus in various locales, with delightful brush cleared remote desert washes to sit down and picnic in (as long as you are assured no nearby rainfall will surprise you with a flash flood down your chosen stream bed). The vegetation is obviously supported by some rainfall, and actually in the southernmost part of the state more falls as summer monsoonal rain from Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) and adjacent Pacific Ocean moisture than reaches them from the meager southern tails of Gulf of Alaska storms in the winter. Note too that three seasons of the year are so agreeable in climate as to induce northern American and Canadian “snowbirds” to flock there; even if a summer vacation elsewhere also makes a nice change for the natives.
    There is much more that is suburban than urban about this capitol city centered in the “Valley of the Sun”, and even more so about surrounding smaller ones. Only a few downtown blocks are continuous in tall buildings (which have their shady sides too by the way), with most home sites on sizable shade treed and grass lawned lots (many of which still flood irrigate) and swimming pools are understandably in profusion (a major aid to comfortably enjoying the summer there, unmentioned in that ever so erudite report from a local university apparently populated by transients). As kids we certainly played outdoors in the summer, and I played tennis in the heat (though not for long at its height if I could help it) in mimicry I suppose of the native American sweat lodges.
    Before there was refrigerant air conditioning there was evaporative cooling that in the low humidity rather efficiently carried off over 500 kCal. of heat per quart of phase-changed water from room air that was much more economically simply fan forced through a wetted filter box. Of course nobody wants to settle for that today, but it could still be a life saver if heat prostration is the alternative; and is no less efficient on a personal level. A wetted-down T-shirt (leaving the lowest 1/3 dry to avoid an uncomfortably wet beltline) can substitute for an equal amount of thermoregulating sweat production without the same attendant risk of dehydrating body water loss. Indeed you won’t want to wave that wetted shirt in the air very much because it can then become quite uncomfortably cold to put on!

  28. fine…..now pick a city north of 45 degrees…and tell them they aren’t going to get as cold at night

  29. In the research, the team tried to quantify the number of excess deaths attributed to heat in Maricopa County based on three future urbanization and adaptation scenarios and multiple exposure variables. Two scenarios (low and high growth projections) represent the maximum possible uncertainty range associated with urbanization in central Arizona; a third represents an adaptation strategy by simulating the deployment of white roof technology to the area.

    How about a 4th scenario with electricity necessarily increasing by 300 percent? How will that effect their mitigation?

    Overall, projections of heat related mortality ranged from a decrease of 46 deaths per year (-95 percent) to an increase of 339 deaths per year (+359 percent).

    Can anyone explain this math?

  30. Michael D 11.03 says “No one seems to mention that cities also have much higher albedo in the visible bands than vegetation (they show up as bright areas in Google Earth) which presumable makes them absorb less solar heat during the day. I’m not sure what the implications of that are – does it contribute to the days being slightly cooler?”

    The statement is correct but what needs to be considered is how much of that energy is used in photosynthesis and evapotranspiration.

  31. Good heavens! They haven’t actually looked at any people supposedly harmed by the heat. The say the NEXT step is to “The next step is to look more closely at the conditions people experience on hot days, to ultimately determine if high maximum temperatures, minimum temperatures, or some combination of the two is the real culprit leading to adverse health events,” In other words, to see what is really harming people: heat, cold, shifting between hot and cold, or what. They haven’t actually researched heat deaths or adverse heat-related health effects yet. They have for years now produced studies that look at deaths on hot days and hospital visits on hot days — just the “excess numbers” — but not actually studied why those people die or go to the hospital!

    The usual hind-end first approach.

  32. Lack of water, too much alcohol, and certain drugs have to be taken into account when looking at deaths caused by heat. I have worked on the desert southwest of Phoenix with temperatures as high as 121 degrees in the last 24 years without harm. I am now 70 years old. It can require you to drink up to two gallons of water a day to survive. You will also need clothing and a hat to completely cover your skin. People routinely play golf on August afternoons here. You don’t need to be sick here to die from the heat. Stupidity will kill you whether it’s 100 degrees or 120 degrees outside. Education will lower the mortality rate due to heat.

  33. >>One problem with Phoenix weather is the humidity, which didn’t used to be a problem before all the watered greenery and trendy misters everywhere. The saying used to be something like: “116 in Phoenix today, but it’s a dry heat”. Now, not so much.

    I’ve lived in Phoenix 50+ years. The summer high temps haven’t changed appreciably (although my tolerance for them decreased markedly at about age 12). Besides, once it hits 115° F. in the shade, another 3-5 degrees just doesn’t matter. I doubt there’s empircal evidence for any humidity change either. It’s bone dry April – June (e.g. it’s currently 108F, 5% RH). Moisture comes in from Mexico intermittently on the summer monsoons in July and August, pushing the afternoon RHs closer to 30%. Same as it ever was…

    One thing that has changed are morning lows. Up 10F in surburbia as the metro population swelled from <1M to over 4M in 30 years.

  34. Well leaving a baby strapped in a car seat, in a closed and locked Lexus SUV, while you go and have a Starbuck Latte, with the guys/gals, is NOT a UHI related death; it’s a YAI death; as in You’re An Idiot.

    Maybe a good candidate for sterilization too.

    UHIs are great for increasing the rate of emission of thermal LWIR energy, during the heat of the day. They work much better than do polar ice shelves, which barely radiate anything.

  35. Bloke down the pub says:
    June 2, 2014 at 10:28 am
    Just wait till they rely on wind turbines to power their air conditioning.

    Ahem! We have a very large nuke about 40 miles west of downtown. The only windmills I’ve ever seen in Phoenix are tacky yard decorations.

  36. So deaths from heat and cold comes so far down the list of mortality causes that it really shouldn’t even be considered. More people die falling over in the shower

  37. I originally came to be a skeptic because I looked up data from NASA (a link in an alarmist article by them to one of their studies) and the data did not say what they said it said–How many people look this stuff up anyway? In any case, I just now looked up the statistics for heat and cold related deaths on the NOAA site provided by TD

    TDS says:The NWS has the preliminary 2013 deaths caused due to weather in the US. These do not include weather related deaths, such as automobile crashes due to ice/snow. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml

    and I have to agree with Bill

    Bill Parsons says:As with the temperature records themselves (cherry picked, padded and “value-added” for effect), these records of cold- and heat-related causes of death remain highly questionable …

    In Alaska there are lots of cold deaths every year and NOAA doesn’t even mention them for many of the years they give statistics for .

    They should get their stories straight with other government organizations–for instance the CDC has statistics on heat and cold deaths which widely disagree with NOAA–where does NOAA get their statistics from anyway? Certainly not from data of the agencies that are supposed to give us the stats. The CDC says:

    During 1999–2002, among those who died from hypothermia, 49% were aged >65 years, 67% were male, and 22% were married (compared with 52% of the overall U.S. population) (2). A high proportion (83%) of the hypothermia-related deaths occurred during October–March (Figure 1); these deaths occurred in all 50 states during 1999–2002 (range: four to 288 deaths per state), with the highest average annual rates per 100,000 population in Alaska (4.64), Montana (1.58), Wyoming (1.57), and New Mexico (1.30) (Figure 2). Most deaths were not work related (63%); 23% of affected persons were at home when they became hypothermic. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5510a5.htm

    NOAA science sucks and so very biased–they reported 4 deaths due to cold in the whole US for 2001 and 166 due to heat. Now i know more than 4 people die from the cold in Alaska every single winter much less the whole USA! The CDC reports a total of 599 persons in the United States died from “exposure to excessive natural cold” http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5308a2.htm for 2001 and
    “the three states with the highest rates of death from hypothermia were Montana (1.44 persons per 100,000 population), Alaska (1.42), and New Mexico (1.04)” which NOAA failed to mention at all!

    NOAA wants heat to be the bad guy so they say 4 died from cold and 166 from heat while the CDC says 599 died form the cold and 500 from excessive heat for the same year. But
    NOAA has an agenda and 166 (in heat) to 4 (in cold) sounds more alarmist than 500 (in heat) (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6222.pdf) to 599 (in cold). The facts of course, make it sound like people die from the heat and cold for various peopled-related reasons. But people dying from heat and cold (as has been the case for as long as man has been on the planet) just won’t scare everyone into supporting their alarm-ism, now will it?

    and Stark–

    Yeah, it’s all those heat-related deaths that have the old folks fleeing to the poles in record numbers.

    FUNNY

  38. I have a simple test for the AZ researchers, we will put them out in the Arizona desert this time of year in a pair of shorts, with plenty of water. There is no chance they will die. I will put them in the north woods in January I will pick a below zero weather make no matches in a pair of shorts yet plenty of water, They would not last and much more than hour. If they want to stick to their claim heat kills more people I suggest they take my test. It would fix two problem at once falsify there guess, and eliminate some idiots or basic dishonest people from the face of the earth. If they are not willing to take the test that will also falsify their guess.

  39. Tanya Aardman says:

    June 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    How do they cope in Africa and the Middle East? And Outback Australia?

    They all emigrate to the UK.

  40. Pneumonia and influenza are the only weather related major cause of death in the US. Neither of these peak in the summer.

    If hot weather is bad, why is the US population moving south and west? Why is Texas the fastest growing large state?

    Why do almost all Canadians live within 150 miles of the southern border of Canada, leaving thousands of miles of empty land to the north?

    Why are Mexican not dying by the millions due to heat? Their climate is even hotter than the US. And what about Africa? Surely Africans must be dying by the billions of heat?

  41. we will put them out in the Arizona desert this time of year in a pair of shorts, with plenty of water. There is no chance they will die.
    ===========
    they might die of UV if they are not sun adapted.

    However, you are quite correct. The fatal temperature for unprotected humans is about 80F/27C (coincidentally, the temperature of the tropical jungles). Below that temperature you cannot generate enough heat to maintain your body temperature and will eventually die of exposure.

    The critical issues is cost. All that is required to cool a human is water, which is low cost. However, to warm a human takes energy, which is high cost and becoming higher. What this means is that the combination of cold and poverty is fatal.

    Unfortunately, simplistic research that does not take poverty into account when calculating mortality rates leads to false conclusions.

  42. we will put them out in the Arizona desert this time of year in a pair of shorts, with plenty of water. There is no chance they will die.
    ==========
    in the desert they might die of cold over-night. they will most certainly be miserably cold, wishing the sun was up. so long as they find some shade and have water they will be comfortable during the day.

  43. Should the city deploy mitigating technologies to help fight summer’s heat?
    ==================
    In Asia they use water misting. As the mist evaporates it sucks 550 kcal of energy out of the air for every 1 liter of water. Add water misters to the outside of every building in Phoenix and you could probably drop the temperature of the city by 10 degrees in summer. The cost would be negligible. No electricity required. Water and plastic piping.

    Of course, almost as simple is to allow people to water their lawns in summer during the day. Water restrictions on watering lawns and gardens most certainly makes summertime temperatures higher. If you are too hot try standing under a lawn sprinkler. You will not be too hot for long.

    • @ferdberple

      Add water misters to the outside of every building in Phoenix and you could probably drop the temperature of the city by 10 degrees in summer.

      They do that in Palm Springs. And it really makes it pleasant to stroll around town.

  44. ferdberple says:
    June 3, 2014 at 6:11 am

    The fatal temperature for unprotected humans is about 80F/27C

    You lost me there. It’s my understanding that fatal (body) temperature is about 105F/40C

    ferdberple also says:
    June 3, 2014 at 6:13 am

    …in the desert they might die of cold over-night. they will most certainly be miserably cold, wishing the sun was up.

    WU forecast: Tucson AZ for 6/3/2014
    High: 107F
    Low: 75F

    http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=tucson+az

    Here in the SW American desert, summer nights are delight.

  45. It is so easy to be of a Global Warmist. If the facts don’t suit, make up some figures which do. Now that is what they (note: they) call science. If we are damned now, in another 25 years what will they be doing/saying?

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