Last updated August 14, 2017

Increased Humidity and Heat Stress

Exposure to extreme heat is already a significant public health problem and the primary cause of weather-related mortality in the US. As temperatures continue to increase due to climate change, heat stress is expected to worsen. The air can also hold more moisture, reducing our bodies’ ability to cool off and increasing our risk of heat-related illness. The Heat Index, also known as the "real feel" temperature, is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.

Global trends

The fingerprint of climate change has been found in the increase of wet bulb temperature since 1973, driving heat stress globally and in most land regions analyzed.[1]