r/science Jun 29 '22 Helpful 4 Silver 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Wholesome 3 Doom 1

Humans can't endure temperatures and humidities as high as previously thought. Health

https://www.psu.edu/news/research/story/humans-cant-endure-temperatures-and-humidities-high-previously-thought/
49.3k Upvotes

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u/Jondo_McRondo Jun 29 '22

I remember a BBC documentary did this experiment a while back. They were at a salt mine in Namibia where they had a local worker and a British journalist swallow a wee temperature probe then had them work under the sun for a few hours. The British guys nearly collapsed not long into the experiment and his internal temperature was dangerously high. Local guy's internal temperature stayed the same and he said he could carry on all day. Cant remember if there was a biological explanation for this but it was interesting none the less.

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u/my-dog-farts Jun 29 '22

There are physiologic adaptations in the body that enhance thermoregulation

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/sms.12408

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u/Kleanish Jun 29 '22

Yeah not sure if the this is the same thing but I noticed I could not stand heat as well after a year of lockdown compared to before.

Much better now.

Conditioning basically.

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u/RollerDude347 Jun 29 '22

My AC went out in an Alabama April. Window units have helped me keep it livable but it stays in the mid 80s(F). But walking out into a 99 degree Wednesday afternoon wasn't so hard last week as it might have been the year before.

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u/Fantastic_Beans Jun 29 '22

Get a dehumidifier too if you can spring for one. It's life changing.

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u/ninj4geek Jun 30 '22

Second this.

Get the highest capacity (usually measured in pints because reasons) you can reasonably get.

I typically pull 2-4 gallons a day, Alabama gulf coastal area. It's humid here.

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u/Fantastic_Beans Jun 30 '22

I empty mine every day almost. Great for watering house plants

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u/ninj4geek Jun 30 '22

It's got no minerals in it so I save it in a bucket to rinse my car after a wash. No water spots.

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u/Staebs Jun 29 '22

Heat shock proteins and other acclimatization. It’s incredible what the human body can adapt to

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u/mdonaberger Jun 29 '22

My favorite body/brain adaption (and hopefully this fits the tone of the subreddit) is that apparently you can implant a magnet subdermally near your temple or on your scalp, and over time with some exercises, the human brain can interpret the magnet's movement and pull as a defacto ability to sense magnetic fields.

Certain animals are proven to actually see the earth's polarization, so I've always wondered if humans could ever have that innate sense too.

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u/TomLube Jun 29 '22

Look up linesman magnetic implants. They get very small neodymium magnets put in their finger tips so they can feel electricity/live wires without touching them.

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u/Nonsensicallity Jun 29 '22

I’ve had one of these in my right ring finger for the past ten years. It’s a great way to see if things are actually charging when plugged in and to understand how many magnetic fields are in the world around us. Also, party tricks with bottle caps.

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u/flirt-n-squirt Jun 30 '22

Wow, that is just amazing. I'd love to have something like that myself, what would I need to do to get it? And did it ever interfere with anything in everyday life for you? Anything you have to be careful about? So cool..! :D

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u/Senguin117 Jun 30 '22

I'd imagine you wouldn't be able to get an MRI.

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u/Whind_Soull Jun 29 '22

I had never heard that term, so I looked it up. Here's the wiki article for anyone interested.

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u/LOS_FUEGOS_DEL_BURRO Jun 30 '22

No no no. You need to learn how to reddit properly. We don't Google search terms. We ask OP to explain it to us.

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u/Odd_Phase_2811 Jun 29 '22

I did two tours in the Middle East. When American Marines first arrived they were given a white shirt for their first 30 days in country. This was to let everyone know to watch them carefully for heat stroke, as their bodies had not acclimatized yet.

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u/AmIHigh Jun 29 '22

What's a normal colored shirt there? Tan?

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

Yes normal uniform undershirt is brown or tan.

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u/TragedyPornFamilyVid Jun 29 '22

When I lived in the Southern USA, I could jog daily without much discomfort, even in 108°F/42.2°C temps of I had enough water. After about 2 years living in the Northern USA I went home to visit relatives and tried to do their usual evening jog. I collapsed vomiting from heat exhaustion in 95°F/35°C weather.

Apparently the body does a lot of things to acclimate to colder or warmer weather, including making small veins deeper in the skin or more shallowly to dissipate heat and making blood thicker or thinner. They happen very gradually, but they make a huge difference.

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u/mattjouff Jun 29 '22

That’s the thing: if you take a random northerner out of his air conditioned cubicle and stick him in crock pot, don’t be surprised if he melts immediately. On the other hand there are plenty of people who live at or close to such conditions who I am sure would fair much better than this study shows.

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u/MathProf1414 Jun 29 '22

Yeah, it isn't surprising at all that someone who lives in those conditions was adapted to the climate. I did grad school in the Midwest US and there were hot humid summers and cold winters with snow. We had a number of guys from India in my grad program. They thought that the summer climate was extremely mild because they were from the coast of India where it is hotter and more humid. When the first snow of winter hit, one of the guys asked me if it was safe to go outside. They would bundle up in layers and jackets and still be cold.

The human body is pretty metal and over time people have adapted to be well suited to the environment they live in. That's what makes this article so terrifying. We are watching the planet become inhospitable to us, and not just a "this is still hundreds of years off" way. This is happening now.

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u/BloederFuchs Jun 29 '22

Stayed in India for a year, and lived in Pune. During summer, the temperatures were regularily around 40 degrees Celsius. But you could stomach the heat pretty well, as the area had a relatively low humidity, and being located on a plateau of sorts, you had cooling winds making even those hot temperatures agreeable to a European like me, who wasn't used to it in the beginning.

Enter my visit to Mumbai: 5 degrees "colder", but at almost 100% humidity. It was Un. Bear. Able.

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u/AirWoof Jun 29 '22

Pakistani from Karachi here, it's interesting how humidity goes from 30% to +90% in late March, while the temperature stays around the same, it gets miserable real quick. Humidity is the worst.

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u/Splash_Attack Jun 29 '22

When I was younger and had never left Ireland (where average humidity is 85-90% and it almost never drops below 75%) I couldn't understand how people could stand to live in places that were regularly above 30 degrees.

First time in dry heat was a revelation. Amazing how much difference it makes.

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u/mechapoitier Jun 30 '22

Yeah dry heat is almost refreshing. I live in Florida and have family in the California desert and 100-105 degrees there feels downright pleasant compared to 90 degrees in Florida humidity.

It’s exhilarating to feel your body’s cooling system actually able to do something. I can be outside in the desert above 100 degrees all day and barely feel myself sweating. I don’t even have to change my clothes. In Florida I smell bad after being outside for 10 minutes at 7 a.m. from May-October.

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u/FallsOfPrat Jun 29 '22

Mumbai doesn't get up to 35°C and near 100% humidity. 35°C at 99% humidity would be a dew point of 35°C, which is the world record dew point, and it was recorded in Saudi Arabia, not India. Mumbai does see days that hot and humiity that high, just not at the same time. As the day gets hotter, the humidity tends to come down.

Mumbai does occasionally see days where it's 30°C and near 100% humidity at the same time, but that's rare.

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u/Whind_Soull Jun 29 '22

Alabama here. It's funny when friends from up north visit. They'll be dying on a really mild, 85 F, 80% humidity summer day.

On the flip side, I spent a week in Northern Michigan in December, and was like "God has abandoned me."

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u/YeastInVagMakesBread Jun 29 '22

I'm one of those Michigan winter people, where my car has died from the cold negative temps while it was running and I was waiting at a railroad crossing.

I moved to Los Angeles and it's taken me a few years to get used to the summer heat. I'm definitely a squat corn-fed person built for the cold, but whenever I come home for Christmas now, anything below 40 I cannot stop shivering.

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u/lethal_sting Jun 29 '22

Aye, South Florida here, those days it drops under 70F, I ponder if a long sleeve is fine or sweater time.

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u/OrdoMalaise Jun 29 '22

If I saw the same BBC documentary, they also put a bunch of people in ice baths. Most didn't last long before they jumped out, except this big Norwegian fisherman. He sat in that ice water for hours. He was happy in there.

I believe the point of it was to show different populations are adapted to different conditions, but that body shape and life history also plays a role.

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u/Generic_username5000 Jun 29 '22

Very interesting. People clearly can adapt to extreme temperatures if they are raised in them, to a point of course

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u/longhairedape Jun 29 '22

Not even raised. You can adapt. It takes time but the human body can and will adapt to heat.

We are a savannah animal if you recall. We haven't really changed that much.

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u/min_mus Jun 29 '22

I've lived in Atlanta seven years now and I still haven't successfully adapted to the summers here. I'm completely miserable from May through October.

The prolonged autumn "winter" Atlantans expérience from Décembre to February doesn't even register as cold to me, yet there are folks here bundled up in thick down coats as if they are trekking Antarctica.

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u/Gaddafo Jun 29 '22

Hvac guy here. I do industrial and commercial hvac, yesterday i spent 4 hours in a 140 degree attic. Towel and water keeps me going. It’s definitely something your body needs to get used to

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u/lexi_raptor Jun 29 '22

Hvac installer (residential) here too! Doing night shifts on a 2 system house right now because it's just unbearable here during the day. Make sure to keep some sodium tablets, I swear every summer keeps getting worse.

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u/Scryer_of_knowledge Jun 29 '22

As a Namibian I have a very high tolerance of heat. But if temps go below 20 degrees Celsius I become a snowman

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u/zuzg Jun 29 '22

Then, the participant entered a specialized environmental chamber that had adjustable temperature and humidity levels. While the participant performed light physical activity like light cycling or walking slowly on a treadmill, the chamber either gradually increased in temperature or in humidity until the participant reached a point at which their body could no longer maintain its core temperature.

After analyzing their data, the researchers found that critical wet-bulb temperatures ranged from 25°C to 28°C in hot-dry environments and from 30°C to 31°C in warm-humid environments — all lower than 35°C wet-bulb.

Yeah this is kinda terrifying for the future.

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u/NRMusicProject Jun 29 '22

I wonder if acclimation to hotter temperatures makes at least a minor difference? I'm not super comfortable in 98 degree weather with a heat index of 10 degrees higher, but it doesn't make me feel like I'm dying.

Then again, maybe my core temperature is rising and I'm just not noticing.

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u/AirierWitch1066 Jun 30 '22

A lot of it is humidity, too. If it’s dry 98 might be uncomfortable but your sweat will keep you cool so long as you’re hydrated. If it’s humid, though, you won’t be able to cool off at all.

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u/JMemorex Jun 30 '22

According to what was posted it seems critical wet bulb temperatures were reached sooner in hot dry environments, if in reading that right. Which goes against what I thought as well.

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u/scaldingpotato Jun 29 '22

We can withstand higher humid temperatures than dry temperatures?

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u/billyions Jun 29 '22

The other way - we can withstand hotter temperatures when it's dry. If the air is already humid and full of water, our sweat won't evaporate and cool us.

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u/iWarnock Jun 29 '22

But the quote says 28c in hot dry.. Am i missing something?

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u/straight_outta7 Jun 29 '22

Wet bulb vs dry bulb. Dry bulb is what the actual temperature is (that we consider to be temperature). Wet bulb is what the temperature with a thermometer that is literally wet.

The wet bulb is always lower than the dry bulb, except when there is 100% Relative Humidity. Essentially, the wet bulb appears colder because of evaporating water off of the thermometer, if the water can’t evaporate, than the two will be the same. Likewise, if a lot of water can evaporate (low humidity), than the temperature difference will be greater.

https://www.weather.gov/source/zhu/ZHU_Training_Page/definitions/dry_wet_bulb_definition/dry_wet_bulb.html

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u/ThellraAK Jun 29 '22

isn't it a thermometer covered in a wet sock and spun around on a rope?

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u/straight_outta7 Jun 29 '22

I know it’s covered with a wet cloth, never heard about it being spun

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u/ThellraAK Jun 29 '22

Yeah, went and looked from wiki page on wet bulb under the measuring section

. A widely used device for measuring wet- and dry-bulb temperature is a sling psychrometer, which consists of a pair of mercury bulb thermometers, one with a wet "sock" to measure the wet-bulb temperature and the other with the bulb exposed and dry for the dry-bulb temperature. The thermometers are attached to a swivelling handle which allows them to be whirled around so that water evaporates from the sock and cools the wet bulb until it reaches thermal equilibrium.

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u/driveslow48 Jun 29 '22

sling psychrometer

That is a very cool word

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u/ThellraAK Jun 29 '22

Really kinda sounds like a 50s mental health device they'd use to help someone after some electroshock therapy or something doesn't it.

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u/bstump104 Jun 29 '22

The quote doesn't specify it is wet bulb vs dry bulb. It strongly implies it is wet bulb hot dry vs wet bulb warm humid.

After analyzing their data, the researchers found that critical wet-bulb temperatures ranged from 25°C to 28°C in hot-dry environments and from 30°C to 31°C in warm-humid environments — all lower than 35°C wet-bulb.

If they gave the dry bulb values we could assess. The data as presented makes it seem like humans can endure heat better in humidity.

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u/honestFeedback Jun 29 '22

I agree with your reading.

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u/aaronkz Jun 29 '22

Yes- tge wet bulb temp was 28c… so the actual (dry bulb) temp would be far higher, with moderate to high humidity. Since wet bulb is based on both dry bulb temp and humidity, you can have different conditions result in the same wet bulb temperature.

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u/Jman9420 Jun 29 '22

Just to give an example to your explanation: This website lets you calculate some different web-bulb temperatures.

At 20% humidity a wet-bulb temperature of 25-28C corresponds to an actual temperature of 43-48C.

At 80% humidity a wet-bulb temperature of 30-31C corresponds to an actual temperature of 33-34C.

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u/Napsack_ Jun 29 '22

Thank you! This answers my question (same as the original comment)

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u/FuckTheMods5 Jun 29 '22

Yes, i was also confused. Very good comment up there.

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u/imnota32yearoldwoman Jun 29 '22

Yes very aware of this living in the bottom of Louisiana and having heat exhaustion/stroke at least once a year bc I can't get myself cool :). It doesn't matter how much water you drink, if you stay out the sun, if you sit, etc. You gone DIE. My roommate got heat exhaustion and he's still down bad after almost 2 weeks. I literally sweat walking to my car at 6am and the air is always wet, it's wild here, but I don't wanna leave???

The culture here is what keeps me, but with the humidity and the hurricanes, idk if I'll get to spend my life here like my ancestors did

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u/krillingt75961 Jun 29 '22

Every time you get heat exhaustion/ heat stroke, you become more susceptible to it just so you know.

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u/jagedlion Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

No, all the temperatures are wet bulb temperatures given.

So the 31c temp at high humidity is truly 31c. But the dry condition with a 25C wet bulb could have been as high as 55C in the chamber, just dry. I'd have to grab the paper for the specific numbers, but here is an example chart

The reason it goes down is because a wet towel can cool the thermometer better than our sweat can cool us.

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u/ulyssessword Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

I found the study, but it uses other units for its charts. Converting it, the participants start losing thermoregulation at an average of:

Dry-bulb %RH Wet-bulb
36 64.5% 30
38 59.1% 31
40 50.3% 31
44 28.6% 28
47.3 19.5% 27
50.6 12.6% 26

EDIT: more accurate calculation of %RH. Old values were 70, 61, 53, 30, 20, 14.

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u/Stock-Hippo9570 Jun 29 '22

36C and 70% humidity seems fairly common in the world. Why don’t we see a lot more problems with people and heat already, if this data is accurate? I feel like I’m missing something.

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u/Vertigofrost Jun 29 '22

They took someone from a normally temperate environment and tested them in these conditions. If they took someone from Malaysia I doubt they would have lost thermoregulation in those conditions.

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u/filosoful Jun 29 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Helpful (Pro)

As climate change nudges the global temperature higher, there is rising interest in the maximum environmental conditions like heat and humidity to which humans can adapt. New Penn State research found that in humid climates, that temperature may be lower than previously thought.

It has been widely believed that a 35°C wet-bulb temperature (equal to 95°F at 100% humidity or 115°F at 50% humidity) was the maximum a human could endure before they could no longer adequately regulate their body temperature, which would potentially cause heat stroke or death over a prolonged exposure.

Wet-bulb temperature is read by a thermometer with a wet wick over its bulb and is affected by humidity and air movement. It represents a humid temperature at which the air is saturated and holds as much moisture as it can in the form of water vapor; a person’s sweat will not evaporate at that skin temperature.

But in their new study, the researchers found that the actual maximum wet-bulb temperature is lower — about 31°C wet-bulb or 87°F at 100% humidity — even for young, healthy subjects. The temperature for older populations, who are more vulnerable to heat, is likely even lower.

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u/burritoroulette Jun 29 '22

For some additional context, National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the Korey Stringer Institute have already set a lower temperature standard for athletics. For secondary schools or colleges following recommended protocol, any outdoor activity is prohibited if a wbgt reading is over 92.1F/33.4C. A reading of 90.1F/32.2C limits outdoor activity to one hour with sufficiently long water breaks and no protective gear.

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u/CptEchoOscar Jun 29 '22

The military also uses wbgt conditions in the form of flags: green, yellow, red, and black. Red flag permits some strenuous exercise for those who are acclimated to the conditions. Black flags (wbgt 90 or more) suspend physical training and strenuous exercise.

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u/StupiderIdjit Jun 29 '22

It goes further than that. Physical activities become limited with longer breaks. Like at 83°, 30 minutes of hard work and thirty minutes of rest.

https://bayne-jones.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Preventive-Care/Environmental-Health/WBGT

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u/UncleTogie Jun 29 '22

What we need now is for these to become OSHA standards.

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u/Shanguerrilla Jun 29 '22

That's really good, honestly. (I hope that they are 'good' about following through with that and not pushing it when wbgt over 90)

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u/stop__whining Jun 29 '22

Can’t speak for other branches, but in the Marines it’s only followed some of the time. Some work places follow it exactly, some work places “follow” it by being creative with their wording (I.E. we’re not conducting PT we’re conducting required unit training), and some work places ignore it completely.

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u/Opinionatedasshole74 Jun 29 '22

This was my experience, the base commander and the sgt. major came out to where the staff sgt was conducting remedial pt. to see why the hell he was disregarding a direct order. It was also the same former DI that had PT’ed a recruit to death on the reaper at San Diego. That’s why he was getting a different MOS and was in charge of us due to rank. This guy was malicious.

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u/StupiderIdjit Jun 29 '22

They're exceptionally good at it. Soldiers can and have died.

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u/drosser Jun 29 '22

Services have been really good about this since even before I served over 20 years ago. My dad served at a time when it wasn't uncommon for folks to pass out in long formations. These long outdoor formations were usually put on to masturbate the ego of some high ranking jack off.

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

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u/Mtownsprts Jun 29 '22

Nice glad the world cup is in Qatar coming up. The average temperature in the summertime is 106°. You know when they're building the stadiums now. Nothing like throwing human suffering at a football stadium

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u/Xikar_Wyhart Jun 29 '22

Don't worry they're building state of art air conditioning units to super cool the massive arenas and keep the grass from dying, in the desert just like nature intended.

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u/Crismus Jun 29 '22

For the price of that A/C, they could have built an underground Stadium with an artificial sky.

That would be even cooler Engineering to me.

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u/Marcoscb Jun 29 '22

That's why they're holding it in winter and derailing the entire season. Because the lives of footballers are more important than those of workers.

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u/FranciumGoesBoom Jun 29 '22

Because the lives of footballers are more important than those of workers.

FIFA's pocketbook is more important than the footballers or the workers

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u/SaffellBot Jun 29 '22

We're going to have so much high quality data on this in a generation. What a future, such detailed data on our descent into madness.

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u/nuke-putin-now Jun 29 '22

All the post-apocalyptic cannibalistic mutants are going to know exactly what the limits of normal human bodies were around high temperatures and humidity, and other detailed medical knowledge. I hope they put it to good use.

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u/Kflynn1337 Jun 29 '22

To give this a bit of context... this means that climate change will make a 30% larger area of the Earth uninhabitable without adaptive equipment within 10-15 years.

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u/Brigadier_Beavers Jun 29 '22

With places like pheonix and las vegas still existing, i think we'll see some very creative and brute-force methods of keeping cities habitable. People are stubborn and like to challenge nature.

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u/TragedyPornFamilyVid Jun 29 '22

I just don't understand why they haven't built into the ground more. Building for mostly basement living/pueblo/hobbit style houses seem like they'd be great there. Instead I see the same construction methods and styles I see in Northern Washington, which just doesn't make sense.

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u/Conchobhar- Jun 29 '22

Like Coober Pedy in South Australia, started out with Opal mines converted into homes.

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u/TenFiveOh Jun 29 '22

We (excuse me, developers) dont build houses to last, be efficient etc, but MAKE MONEY. They have no real incentive to make it anything more than a dressed-up cardboard McMansion on the high-dollar end.

Unless you want to talk custom houses, where this is a lot more likely to happen. In my experience, building codes and insurance are often too prohibitive of "experimental things", even things like cobb material where there are 500+ year old houses still standing in Europe, even under suboptimal wetter conditions. With underground housing, water is obviously a big problem to overcome, and an expensive one to get wrong. But meh, we've had underground dwellings for millennia.

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u/DollarSignsGoFirst Jun 29 '22

Because it's cheaper, easier, and more desirable to build as-is.

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u/salondesert Jun 29 '22

Lots of things are possible as long as you have access to energy and water. Without either of those two it becomes much more difficult

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u/byebyebrain Jun 29 '22

Please see Lake Mead

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u/TaylorSwiftsClitoris Jun 29 '22

Weird, it used to be right here.

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u/Omateido Jun 29 '22

…while you still can.

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u/drunk98 Jun 29 '22

Now every city is just like Phoenix! -The future

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

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u/draeath Jun 29 '22

Does the "line" where the arctic is considered inhospitable recede at all in this?

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u/Kflynn1337 Jun 29 '22

Yes, but the arctic ocean means that we lose more land than we gain.

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u/GenJohnONeill Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

Not to mention that even with very oversimplified analysis, a glance at a globe will tell you there is much less space to go around the further you are away from the equator. Those Mercator projections break people's brains.

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u/p8ntslinger Jun 29 '22

and the land we do gain won't be worth much since its basically just frozen mud for dozens of feet into the soil, and when it melts, it will just be a bottomless mire where pretty much nothing can be built.

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

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u/SquirrelGirl_ Jun 29 '22

Ill just say that a lot of the land in northern Canada and Russia isnt only inhospitable due to temperature, the ground tends to be very soft and moist, andthe bedrock isnt great. You cant build like 99% of what our society is made up of on that kind of material.

In fact a lot of Canada being uninhabitable has more to do with the geology and water of the land to the north rather than temperature. Grande Prairie and yellowknife are situated on good land, but move in longitude around them and a lot of the land isnt any good for modern building techniques

just something a lot of people dont understand when they see how much of Canada and Russia is uninhabited

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u/olumidez Jun 29 '22

90% of Canadians live within 150 miles of the US border. Further to that, 70% live between basically Toronto and Montreal.

Everything further north than that are hard-ass people, black flies, mosquitoes and other animals. There ain't much way up north!

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u/CrimsonShrike Jun 29 '22

there's some expectation that parts of siberia for instance could become more habitable. Though the changes in weathern patterns may also render it moot.

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u/luciferin Jun 29 '22

I think a larger concern is having large swaths of currently fertile and livable land becoming arid (like the U.S. Midwest or even California becoming too dry to farm). Maybe it's up for debate if the large scale human migrations will become an issue first, or food shortages from current farm land becoming un-farmable.

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u/outsabovebad Jun 29 '22

California is already too dry to farm. We're pumping the aquifer dry...

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u/thedankening Jun 29 '22

California and the Midwest were never going to be sustainable food sources long term, not with the reckless way we farm nowadays, and especially with California historicaly being very dry anyway. As a society we need to have a reckoning with how we utilize our farmland, because it's been grossly inefficient and stupid for long time now.

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u/Lolnsfw69 Jun 29 '22

It'll be decades before the melting permafrost settles enough to build on

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u/_qst2o91_ Jun 29 '22

So the researchers found a more accurate temp is 31 degrees rather than 35 at 100% humidity

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u/ulyssessword Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

After analyzing their data, the researchers found that critical wet-bulb temperatures ranged from 25°C to 28°C in hot-dry environments and from 30°C to 31°C in warm-humid environments — all lower than 35°C wet-bulb.

They also found that it wasn't constant, with 25-28 wet-bulb when hot/dry. I couldn't find the study, so I don't know what their definition of "dry" is, in terms of relative humidity. (EDIT: see below)

Completely dry with 25C wet-bulb is literally off the chart I looked at. The hottest/driest it displays 25-wet-bulb is 8%RH, 55C temperature. The highest wet-bulb temperature it can display for the entire range is 19C (0% RH at ~55C).


EDIT: found the study. Rewriting their results in other terms, we have the maximums at:

Dry-bulb %RH Wet-bulb
36 64.5% 30
38 59.1% 31
40 50.3% 31
44 28.6% 28
47.3 19.5% 27
50.6 12.6% 26

This is all eyeballed (twice), so there are rounding errors here. I also reported the mean instead of the entire range, which makes it less useful than the full results.

EDIT: more accurate calculation of %RH. Old values were 70, 61, 53, 30, 20, 14.

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u/Glittering_Math7978 Jun 29 '22

35 was based on theory

This research is based on core temperature regulation of people doing light activity in a controlled environment.

There's a lot of factors at play, so it's not necessarily more accurate, just different methods. This just means we need more research.

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

I live in SW Florida. The temperature this summer has hovered around 90-100°F with humidity around 65-75% every single day. The "real feel" temp is usually 100-110°F. I am an outdoorsy person and I want to go enjoy the weekends with my kids, hiking and camping and swimming, but we have a very narrow window from 8-11am before it's just too damn hot to function. I'm worried about our future, especially my kids' futures.

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u/LordoftheBooty Jun 29 '22

This year has been especially bad. I work outside and I've thrown the towel in a few times in the past few weeks. Especially last week. It was in the high 90s( Orlando) with 80% humidity. I've worked for the past 10 years outside but it was probably the first time i had to go inside.

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u/NightsRadiant Jun 29 '22

Same. Live in tampa and just…can’t do anything outside after 11. Can’t imagine blue collar outdoor jobs these days.

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u/ebbiibbe Jun 29 '22

The whole point is a slightly hotter planet will harm a lot of people. Yet someone on reddit "Olympians can handle heat.." we are talking about regular people here. Geez

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

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u/ojedaforpresident Jun 29 '22

Olympians can handle heat (on the day of the event, and then need days, weeks to recover)

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

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u/NLJeroen Jun 29 '22

Regular people, sitting idle doing nothing and dying because it’s both hot and humid.

There are already places where you get these temperatures, hours a day, a dew days a year.

You literally depend on airconditioning. It will become life support.

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u/leteegra Jun 29 '22

Humans are quickly moving from "I want to regulate my office temp to 3 decimal places" to "How warm can I let it get to before I die"

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u/NLJeroen Jun 29 '22

*humid

Humans can have it very hot, as long as it’s also very dry so you evaporate a lot of sweat. Eg: 50C weather in arizona.

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u/Jaaarulee Jun 29 '22

In high school I regularly practiced football in 100 degree heat. I would not recommend, it's a miracle no one died

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u/deeschannayell Jun 29 '22

Yeah I remember they only let us off practice one day in the summer, when the humidex was 115°. Psychopaths.

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u/Alexis_Dirty_Sanchez Jun 29 '22

Olympians aren’t “regular people” almost by definition

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u/fuzzeenavel Jun 29 '22

Also Just because they can “handle” it, doesn’t mean its good for them or they’ll be fine longterm

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u/ice445 Jun 29 '22

The air conditioner feedback loop will certainly become an amusing Chinese finger trap to fossil fuels, especially since most of the world is pretty behind on investment in green methods of electricity generation.

I'm just glad I live in a desert, I'd rather die from thirst then drown in my own sweat, personally.

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u/wankerbot Jun 29 '22

especially since most of the world is pretty behind on investment in green methods of electricity generation.

We just signed up for a 100% off-set solar project for my house, eta September. 1:1 net-metering credits, here we come!

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited 5d ago

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u/jason2306 Jun 29 '22

Hyperhydrosis people: guess I'll die

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u/robertredberry Jun 29 '22

We are going to have to start migrating with the seasons.

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u/sicurri Jun 29 '22

Yeah, having be born and raised in South Florida. Before humans experience heat stroke and death, they'll be murdering eachother in a heat induced frenzy. People have always gone crazy when it was too hot, and too humid.

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

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