Daniel Vecellio

(Penn State University)

How Hot is Too Hot? Evaluating Theoretical Limits and Dissecting the Consequences

What Meteo Colloquium
When Dec 07, 2022
from 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
Where 112 Walker Building
Contact Name Paul Markowski
Contact email
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Daniel VecellioAbstract:

Heat is a significant contributor to weather-related mortality worldwide. While vulnerability to the heat has decreased in many regions over recent decades due to technological, behavioral, and cultural adaptations, current and future increases in heatwave frequency, magnitude, and duration provide the opportunity for these gains to be reversed. Loose physiological principles have been used to determine the upper limit to human adaptability of extreme heat as a wet-bulb temperature of 35°C, a measure that has observed only on the rarest of occasions for no more than an hour or two at a time. This limit is projected to be reached with higher frequency in the future. However, no empirical experimentation was used to verify this value as the limit to compensable heat stress. This talk combines the fields of climate science, geography, physiology, and public health to evaluate the validity of this oft-cited limit and investigate how its overestimation has implications for current and future heat-health consequences. This interdisciplinary approach allows for a more holistic approach to extreme event prediction and provides a more multi-sectored view to support climate justice efforts.