What is the Wet Bulb Heat and How the US Deals With It

Source: Unsplash

People across the US and Canada are now experiencing some of the most extreme heat events that occurred in centuries. The worst part is that for most people such conditions can be fatal if humidity and temperatures both surpass 95.

In a world where climate change, global warming, and pollution rule, Earth might still have a few chances to breathe safely again. But for that, we need to learn first which are our enemies.

Here is what you need to know.

What is Wet Bulb Heat?

Our bodies have quite the natural cooling system, but it’s the tolerance for heat that can’t get us any farther. Why is that?

As per scientists’ findings, when the humidity and heat get to a certain level, there’s pretty much nothing we can do to cool ourselves down. The phenomenon is known as wet bulb temperatures, and it’s now starting to be more dangerously common worldwide.

The wet bulb phenomenon is deadly

When humidity meets high heat levels (88 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher), the wet bulb phenomenon kicks in. The triggered conditions can be fatal, and a recent report shows how they’re occurring earlier than previously estimated.

“Even if they’re in perfect health, even if they’re sitting in the shade, even if they’re wearing clothes that make it easy in principle to sweat, even of they have an endless supply of water; […] it’s thermodynamically impossible to prevent the body from overheating,” explained Radley Horton, the co-author of a new study, the danger people face.

Source: Unsplash

Can we avoid the wet bulb phenomenon?

Understanding the wet bulb really works, it’s essential if we want to avoid overheating. Also, as more regions of the world are now experiencing high humidity and excruciating hot temperatures, weather reports for extreme and deadly heat could help us.

So, that can tell us when to stay indoors and find more ways to protect our bodies from such threats. However, researchers explained that people without access to AC face now a greater risk of heat death.


Georgia Nica
Writing was, and still is my first passion. I love all that cool stuff about science and technology. I'll try my best to bring you the latest news every day.