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Extreme warming "not compatible with human existence"

Alex Smith | 24.11.2013 07:25 | Climate Chaos | Ecology

Heat and human health expert Elizabeth Hanna (ANU) on current and developing costs of climate heating.

Heat and human health expert Elizabeth Hanna (ANU) on current and developing costs of climate heating.

For example, people dream of moving to Darwin. Some do, but then move back when they can't handle heat and humidity. With even Melbourne suburbs hitting almost 50 degrees C. - what will happen to Australia when the world warms more than 2 degrees C? What about Spain?

Some scientists, and authorities like the International Energy Agency, warn humanity is headed for a world 3.5 degrees C. hotter in as little as 25 years. More is possible. Hanna says a rise of 4 to 6 degrees C is "not compatible with human existence."

Perhaps you think we will just turn up the air conditioner. But much of the world's work is done outside. Can humans cope with those kind of temperatures?

Here to help us is Dr. Elizabeth Hanna. She's a nurse with a doctorate, and National Convenor of the Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Human Health, at Australian National University.

Did you know more Australians already die of heat than from automobile accidents? That 80% of violence, both male to male and domestic abuse, in Darwin happens during hot, humid spells?

Big corporations talk a lot about worker productivity. Worker safety - not so much. The military found out the hard way (through dead troops) the limits to exercise in heat. But miners, farmers, electric system workers, and even public nurses are under threat during heat waves.

Hospital admissions soar during heat waves. You may not even realize you are approaching a fatal event, as dehydration lowers intellectual judgement. Learn what the limits are in this Radio Ecoshock interview, done while Dr. Hanna was in Warsaw at the COP 19 climate talks.

Download/listen to this 20 minute interview:

Alex Smith
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