World Weather Organization: Night heat is the real health hazard

World Weather Organization: Night heat is the real health hazard
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels – Andrea Piacquadio

“The world must prepare for even more intense heat waves,” states the World Weather Organization (WMO). High temperatures are a health problem, especially at night.

According to the World Weather Organization (WMO), the focus of the current heat waves is far too much on the maximum temperature. The high night temperature is much more decisive for the health risk, said the extreme weather expert John Nairn from the WMO on Tuesday in Geneva.

“The body cannot recover then.” The WMO assumes that the current trend will continue. Tropical nights, for example, are a special form of summer heat. At no time during the day does the air temperature drop below 20 degrees. The human body, which tries to maintain its core temperature of 37 degrees, is then under constant stress.

Since the 1980s, the phases of extreme temperatures have in some cases increased sixfold. “The world needs to prepare for even more intense heatwaves,” Nairn said. The organization recently officially recognized a heat record for Europe on August 11, 2021 with 48.8 degrees Celsius in Sicily.

400,000 people died as a result

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), around 400,000 people have died as a result of extreme climate and weather events in the past ten years.

There are currently numerous efforts by the national Red Cross organizations, especially in the Mediterranean region, to help people, said IFRC spokesman Panu Saaristo. For example, the Red Cross in Italy calls many older people to ask how they are. In Spain and Portugal, people would be made aware of the dangers via social media. In Greece, the Red Cross provides people with drinking water.


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