What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (2023)

Extreme Summer

Half of the country’s workforce labors outdoors, with little relief from high temperatures

Story by Gerry Shih

,

Sarah Kaplan

,

Ruby Mellen

and

Anu Narayanswamy

Photos and videos by

Design by Yutao Chen

Aug. 25 at 7:30 a.m.

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The New Delhi heat was unrelenting this spring and summer. Day in and day out, the city woke up to a steamy sunrise and went to bed in sweltering darkness — the most persistent, widespread and severe heat event in India’s recorded history.

To better understand the toll such temperatures take on the nearly half of India’s workforce that toils outdoors, The Washington Post spent two of the hottest days in June following delivery driver Mohammad Hussain and bricklayer Ganesh Shaw as they labored in the broiling sun. Every 30 minutes, The Post measured the surrounding wet bulb globe temperature — an index of heat exposure that takes into account air temperature, humidity and the force of the sun’s radiation.

What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (1)

Mohammad Hussain

What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (2)

Ganesh Shaw

The men spent most of their days in conditions that would test even world-class athletes. Evening brought no relief; both returned to homes with no air conditioning, as is the case for three-quarters of the nation’s households.

Their experiences illuminate what a growing body of scientific literature is starting to show: Across India and around the world, summer has become a season of peril, when society’s poorest and most vulnerable members must live and work in conditions that push the limits of human endurance.

Given no choice but to work in the heat, Hussain and Shaw have found ways to cope. But if humanity does not drastically reduce planet-warming emissions, experts say, some places may become too hot for workers like them to make a living.

The Post followed Hussain from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 14 and Shaw from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 15 and measured the temperature metrics around both men throughout the days.

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MORNING

What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (3)What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (4)

Hussain

Ambient: 0.0 - 0.0°C

Wet bulb globe: 0.0 - 0.0°C

What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (5)What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (6)

Shaw

Ambient: 0.0 - 0.0°C

Wet bulb globe: 0.0 - 0.0°C

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MORNING

8 a.m. - Noon

Just after 8 a.m., as workers and students file out of packed city buses and traffic starts to clog the city streets, Hussain pulls an orange Swiggy uniform over his head and swings a leg over his motorcycle.

For the next eight hours, as the mercury tops 40.6C105F, the delivery man for one of India’s largest food and grocery apps will zigzag across South Delhi, delivering cold drinks, potato chips, boxes of fruit and 20-pound bags of wheat flour. The heat and humidity are a dangerous combination — so high that the human body cannot cool itself through sweating.

Greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from burning fossil fuels, are to blame for the extreme conditions, scientists say. Global average temperatures have increased more than 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the preindustrial era, prolonging periods of hot weather and boosting the chance of record-breaking events.

“We’re putting more energy into the climate system,” said Kristie Ebi, founding director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington. “And one of the ways it’s coming out is these very extreme extremes.”

At its peak this spring, India’s heat wave affected nearly 70 percent of the country, with highs in some places pushing 45C113F. At least 90 people died across India and Pakistan, and thousands of farmers saw their crops destroyed.

A study by the World Weather Attribution network, which assesses how climate change contributes to extreme events, found that the Indian heat wave was made 30 times more likely by human greenhouse gas emissions.

Hussain’s phone buzzes and the screen lights up: He has his first job for the day, delivering breakfast to a young engineer. The street is getting hotter and busier by the time he returns 40 minutes later for a quick breakfast snack. His friends offer him a bottle of water they froze overnight.

By 10 a.m., Shaw has already been working for about two hours.

A native of the poor state of Bihar, Shaw does construction, like millions of others from the northern Indian countryside who move to Delhi in search of a steady income. As India’s capital grows, it relies on a vast pool of informal laborers who bounce from site to site, knocking down homes and then rebuilding them.

They endure extreme heat and intense cold. For a day’s work, Shaw earns about $10.

“In our company, you start at 8 a.m. and end at 8 p.m.,” he said. “Whether it’s summer or winter, the work never stops.”

Given the intense sun, his body has a hard time protecting itself.

His core temperature starts to rise, and tiny blood vessels just below his skin expand, redirecting blood away from his central organs and allowing for heat exchange with the surrounding air. His heart begins to pump harder to keep blood circulating, straining his cardiovascular system.

But this “dry heat exchange” isn’t sufficient to keep Shaw’s temperature in check. So he sweats.

Though the evaporation of sweat keeps Shaw’s body from overheating, it can have its own health costs if that water is not replaced.

Since early June, Shaw has felt dull pain in his lower abdomen whenever he bends over. A doctor said he might have a urinary tract infection or a kidney ailment. He prescribed Shaw ayurvedic medicine and told him to drink more water.

It would not be surprising if Shaw had developed kidney problems from his constant heat exposure, said physiologist Ollie Jay, director of the Heat and Health Research Incubator at the University of Sydney. Studies from Central America, Sri Lanka and India have revealed rising rates of chronic kidney disease going back to the 1970s. In many hot and humid regions, the problem has become so widespread it’s considered an epidemic.

“If you’re generating a lot of sweat, and not replenishing it, on a daily basis, then you’ve got a lot of problems,” Jay said.

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AFTERNOON

Noon - 5 p.m.

The sun is beating down just after 1:30 p.m. as Hussain cruises down a broad boulevard called Africa Marg on his fifth delivery. He passes a crowd forming on the sidewalk. A water deliveryman has fainted and fallen off his motorcycle.

Hussain shakes his head.

For him, surviving the heat is about toughness. “He’s not mentally strong enough for work like this,” he said.

Hussainrides his motorbike in New Delhi's traffic and sweltering heat as he delivers packages.

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But experts say enduring extreme heat is more a question of what the body can physically bear. Even a young and healthy person such as Hussain can become overwhelmed in an environment like Delhi.

The higher the wet bulb globe temperature, the harder it is for people to keep their bodies cool, because sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly in high humidity. Dehydration and low blood pressure can make people dizzy and delirious. Their kidneys and hearts must work harder. If their internal temperatures become critically high, toxic substances can leak from their guts into the bloodstream, triggering multiple organ failure, which can be lethal.

Jay, the physiologist, noted that the Australian Open has canceled matches when the wet bulb globe temperature exceeded 32.5C90.5F.

That number, he said, “is the threshold for elite, elite, highly conditioned athletes competing for millions of dollars for playing a sport.” He added: “And these guys [Hussain and Shaw] are supposed to stay in that just to do their jobs.”

During the two days The Post spent with Hussain and Shaw, both men dealt with wet bulb globe temperatures up to 33.8C92.8F.

Hussaintakes a break from work for a quick bite at a roadside food cart in New Delhi.

The extreme conditions of the afternoon coincide with the busiest part of Hussain’s workday — when it becomes most difficult to stay hydrated.

He brings his own water to work each morning, but it usually runs out within a few hours. Hussain is also racing to complete enough deliveries to get a $5 cash bonus, leaving him no time to refill his water bottle.

The easiest way, Hussain says, is to ask his customers for water. But they are often in a hurry, or the request is too awkward.

On this day, an older woman in a luxury apartment won’t even interact with Hussain. She asks him to drop a bag of snacks outside her door before she opens it.

“With someone like her, you can’t ask for water,” he says as he takes the elevator back down.

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Across town the next day, Shaw sits on the cool marble floor of the home he’s working on and peers outside through the open facade. The four-bedroom apartments he’s building are worth $1.4 million each.

Delhi is so hot that architects often leave a “sapaat” — or hollow space — that allows hot air to flow out of the building, Shaw explains. But those efforts at cooling are undone by the enormous windows he will help to install.

In this part of ultra-rich Delhi, residents don’t care. “They have air conditioners,” he said.

As a child growing up in rural Bihar, Shaw recalled, he would go cool off in the mango groves whenever it got hot. Delhi offers no such refuge because of a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect.

The vast paved expanses of cities absorb and then re-emit the sun’s radiation. Heat bouncing off buildings amplifies the feeling of sunlight scorching the skin. Millions of vehicles, factories and air conditioners — most of them powered by fossil fuels — generate “waste heat” that adds to the overall burden.

The problem is almost always worse in low-income areas. A 2019 study found that such neighborhoods in Delhi could be as much as 6C10.8F hotter than a wealthy neighborhood on the same night.

Shawworks at a New Delhi construction site, with little relief from the city's extreme heat.

“Heat illness is a disease of vulnerability,” said emergency physician Cecilia Sorenson, director of the Global Consortium on Climate Health and Education at Columbia University. “Those who can protect themselves, do. And those who can’t, don’t.”

Like so much else about climate change, the toll of extreme heat is fundamentally unequal. It’s not just that wealthy people can more readily afford air conditioning, or that they are more likely to live in cooler neighborhoods with lush vegetation, less vehicle traffic and fewer factories. It’s that low-income countries are expected to experience far more dangerous conditions as the planet continues to warm.

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In India, where the average citizen produces lower carbon emissions per year than are generated by a round-trip flight from New York to London, the number of extremely hot days is on track to triple in the next 30 years.

“That’s what keeps me up at night,” said Sorenson — imagining the death and devastation of today’s heat waves multiplied by 10, or 30 or 100. “We’re deeply underequipped to deal with what’s going to come.”

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What it’s like to toil in India’s dangerous, unrelenting heat (7)

EVENING

5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Hussain finishes work around 5 p.m. and rides home, but finds no respite there. The heat is worse inside than out on the densely packed streets of his working-class neighborhood, Khanpur.

Because of a lack of ventilation and higher humidity indoors, wet bulb globe temperatures are higher in the small two-bedroom apartment that he shares with his wife, brother, sister and parents.

Researchers believe high temperatures at night compound the effects of a day spent roasting in the sun. People’s bodies are forced to work overtime to stay cool. Their sleep is disrupted. Their strained cardiovascular systems are denied a chance to recover.

Hussainlives with his family, including his mother, Sakeena Begum, in a low-income neighborhood of New Delhi.

It’s so hot on some nights, says Hussain’s mother, Sakeena Begum, that she can’t fall asleep until 4 a.m. Most days, she’ll take three baths to cool down. She often cooks only once, before 10 a.m., so the stove doesn’t heat up the house.

For years, the family has considered buying an air conditioner. But that would raise their electricity bill from about $25 to $40 a month, which they can’t afford. So they rely on two ceiling fans, spinning in futility.

“It’s ultimately a matter of money,” she said. “So there’s no point in thinking too much about it.”

It’s just as hot across town in Shaw’s home — a windowless, 6-by-9-foot concrete room without furniture or appliances.

His two sons, ages 13 and 18, moved earlier this year to Delhi, where they are employed as cooks at a roadside lunch stall. Now the three live together deep in a warrenlike apartment building filled with migrant laborers.

After a day’s work, they struggle to cool down with two fans in their room. At 31C87.8F, the wet bulb global temperature inside the room would be near dangerous levels if they were working.

Shawtries to cool down and freshen up after returning home from a long day of construction work in New Delhi.

Before they sleep, Shaw’s younger son Beenu is again grumbling about Delhi — the crowds, the heat, the thought of another day’s work. His roadside lunch shack lacks fans, he complains, so he spends all day either at the stove or sweltering beneath a tree. His father responds stoically.

“A tree with shade,” Shaw said. “That is enough.”

About this story

Anant Gupta contributed to this report from Delhi.

Design and development by Yutao Chen.

Gerry Shih reported from Delhi. Sarah Kaplan, Ruby Mellen and Anu Narayanswamy reported from Washington. Editing by Reem Akkad, Jesse Mesner-Hage, Juliet Eilperin, Olivier Laurent and Joe Moore. Video editing by Jason Aldag. Copy editing by Vanessa Larson.

FAQs

How do Indians deal with hot weather? ›

  1. Drink lots of liquids — it doesn't have to be water! ...
  2. Find a cool spot to chill out. ...
  3. Use water in creative ways. ...
  4. Take a break. ...
  5. Wear airy and light-colored clothing. ...
  6. A/C is great ... ...
  7. Your turn: Share tips from your culture on how to cope with heat.
2 Aug 2022

What weather is dangerously hot? ›

Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death.

Why there is too much hot in India? ›

The warmer temperatures, according to reports, are due to the wind flow pattern in these places. Lower-level winds blow from the south to the north in these places, bringing hotter air from the land. The rising temperature is also aided by scorching breezes from India's desert region.

Why is Indian summer very hot? ›

In the United States, an Indian summer period occurs when a cool, shallow polar air mass stagnates and becomes a deep, warm high-pressure centre. This centre is characterized by a strong low-level temperature inversion that produces a stable air stratification.

How do you deal with extreme heat without AC? ›

Here are 14 methods for doing so.
  1. Stay hydrated. ...
  2. Take a cold shower or bath. ...
  3. Use cold washrags on your neck or wrists. ...
  4. Use box fans. ...
  5. Close your curtains or blinds. ...
  6. Sleep in breathable linens. ...
  7. Install energy-efficient light bulbs. ...
  8. Cook in the morning, with a slow cooker or outside.
19 Jul 2022

How do you beat the heat in Indian summer? ›

To keep yourself cool, have watermelon, oranges, sesame, coconut water, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, fennel seeds, etc. Avoid alcohol, fizzy drinks and coffee as they can leave you dehydrated, said Pathak. *Pregnant women need to take special care. Fruits are abundant in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and good sugars.

How hot is too hot for humans to survive? ›

People often point to a study published in 2010 that estimated that a wet-bulb temperature of 35 C – equal to 95 F at 100 percent humidity, or 115 F at 50 percent humidity – would be the upper limit of safety, beyond which the human body can no longer cool itself by evaporating sweat from the surface of the body to ...

How hot can people tolerate? ›

A wet-bulb temperature of 35 °C, or around 95 °F, is pretty much the absolute limit of human tolerance, says Zach Schlader, a physiologist at Indiana University Bloomington. Above that, your body won't be able to lose heat to the environment efficiently enough to maintain its core temperature.

How hot can people survive? ›

Body temperature: 108.14°F

The maximum body temperature a human can survive is 108.14°F. At higher temperatures the body turns into scrambled eggs: proteins are denatured and the brain gets damaged irreparably.

Is India the hottest place on earth? ›

Click on a tile for details. The first step in determining the hottest country in the world is to decide what qualifies a country as the hottest.
...
Hottest Countries in the World 2022.
CountryAverage Yearly Temperature (°C)Average Yearly Temperature (°F)
India23.6574.57
Paraguay23.5574.39
Honduras23.574.3
Guatemala23.4574.21
139 more rows

Which is hottest city in India? ›

Titlagarh. Titlagarh, in the state of Odisha, is the hottest spot in India, especially in the summer. It is quite difficult for individuals to leave their houses throughout the day since the town's temperature soars to 43 degrees Celsius.

Is India becoming uninhabitable? ›

Large parts of India risk becoming uninhabitable in future if current heat waves persist, threatening migration and climate crises that could send shock waves round the world and displace 1.3bn people.

What is the hottest it's ever been in India? ›

The Department also recorded a temperature on Thursday of 50.2 degrees Celsius (122.4 F) at Churu, northeast of Phalodi.

What is the hottest thing in India? ›

Churu. Churu is a tiny city of Rajasthan which is considered to be the hottest place of India right now. Due to its existence in the desert region of India, Churu is also known as the gateway of the Thar desert. The temperature of the place has been recorded as high as 50°C.

What is causing 2022 heat wave? ›

India Heatwave Breaks Temperature Records. The average maximum temperature across India in March 2022 was 33.1˚C. Experts say climate change is to blame.

How can I cool my house in extreme heat? ›

10 tips to keep you and your house cool this summer
  1. Close your blinds. Keep your blinds closed, especially on north and west-facing windows, to significantly cool your home. ...
  2. Block the heat. ...
  3. Just 1oCmore. ...
  4. Adjust ceiling fans. ...
  5. Close doors and seal gaps. ...
  6. Hang out in the evening. ...
  7. Chill out, not chill on. ...
  8. Hack a fan.

Does AC stop working in extreme heat? ›

Air Conditioners are designed to keep your home up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature and are sized based on regional summer temperatures. The extreme heat will cause your air conditioner to run continuously. This will not damage your unit.

What does extreme heat do to a house? ›

Unlike other types of weather damage, extreme heat does not cause sudden, dramatic harm to your home. However, heat can cause significant damage to the outside structure of housing. Paint can bubble and chip, wood siding can shrink and crack, roofs can take a beating, and foundations can shift.

How can we protect our house from sun heat in India? ›

Installing Blinds and silhouette shades can block the unwanted UV rays and keep your interiors extremely pleasant and cozy. The most preferred screens in windows as adjustable drapes or shades are of glass, aluminum or wood form. They insulate the house from direct sunlight and permit good air circulation.

How can we protect our house from summer heat in India? ›

Here are several other simple methods to cool your home:
  1. Use water to cool the home. Home hacks can work well. ...
  2. Keep the rooms dark. ...
  3. Leave the bathroom door open. ...
  4. Place plants near the window. ...
  5. Leave the fridge alone. ...
  6. Use cool lighting options. ...
  7. Buy a dehumidifier. ...
  8. Use cotton fabrics.
2 Apr 2022

How do people survive in Delhi summer? ›

If you feel extremely hot, go in for a cold water shower to cool down.
...
  1. Avoid Direct Sunlight. ...
  2. Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes. ...
  3. Check Electrolytes. ...
  4. Hydrate and Hydrate. ...
  5. Workout in Moderation. ...
  6. Include Citrus Fruits and Seasonal Veggies.
17 Apr 2017

How long until the Earth is too hot? ›

Astronomers estimate that the Sun's luminosity will increase by about 6% every billion years. This increase might seem slight, but it will render Earth inhospitable to life in about 1.1 billion years. The planet will be too hot to support life.

How hot is too hot for the earth? ›

Raymond says the highest wet-bulb temperature that humans can survive when exposed to the elements for at least six hours is about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Wet-bulb temperatures are on the rise around the world, and Earth's climate has begun to exceed this limit.

What is the hottest part of your body? ›

Different parts of our body have different temperatures, with the rectum being the warmest (37℃), followed by the ears, urine and the mouth. The armpit (35.9℃) is the coldest part of our body that is usually measured.

What is too hot for human touch? ›

ASTM C1055 (Standard Guide for Heated System Surface Conditions that Produce Contact Burn Injuries) recommends that pipe surface temperatures remain at or below 140°F. The reason for this is that the average person can touch a 140°F surface for up to five seconds without sustaining irreversible burn damage.

What kills more cold or heat? ›

NOAA's take: heat is the bigger killer

Over the 30-year period 1988 – 2017, NOAA classified an average of 134 deaths per year as being heat-related, and just 30 per year as cold-related—a more than a factor of four difference.

Can humans survive 130 degrees? ›

What is the hottest temperature in which humans can survive? At 130 degrees F, the survival time of a human being begins to decrease drastically. The actual temperature at which someone might die, however, can vary.

Can you build heat tolerance? ›

Heat acclimatization is the improvement in heat tolerance that comes from gradually increasing the intensity or duration of work performed in a hot setting. The best way to acclimatize yourself to the heat is to increase the workload performed in a hot setting gradually over a period of 1–2 weeks.

What temperature is too hot to walk outside? ›

Generally, when the heat index is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should use extreme caution when heading outdoors for activity or intense exercise. When the temperatures are high, there is an increased risk of serious heat-related illnesses.

What climate is healthiest for humans? ›

  • What climate is the healthiest?
  • Science proves 'sunny and +23°C' is perfect for our health.
  • It's easier to stay healthy, fit and happy in 'sunny and +23°C'
  • The healthiest climate makes the perfect setting for your retirement.
26 Oct 2022

What is the 2nd hottest country? ›

Burkina Faso, which borders Mali, is the second-hottest country on earth. With an average yearly temperature of 83.68°F (28.71°C), Burkina Faso gets a lot of heat! You'll find Burkina Faso in the western part of Africa, with the majority in the Sahel but a small part in the Sahara desert.

Is Australia hotter than India? ›

Is Australia hotter than India? India is closer to the equator as compared to Australia, and is therefore expected to be hotter. The average temperature in most of the interior regions of India is 90–104 °F. Whereas in Australia the average temperature in summer is 86 °F.

Which city is coldest in India? ›

The coldest places in India right now to escape heat wave
  • Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. ...
  • Sikkim. ...
  • Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. ...
  • Rohtang Pass, Manali. ...
  • Munsiyari, Uttarakhand. ...
  • Leh. ...
  • Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh. ...
  • Hemkund Sahib, Uttarakhand.
20 May 2022

Why is Mumbai so hot? ›

The Climate of Mumbai is a tropical, wet and dry climate. Mumbai's climate can be best described as moderately hot with high level of humidity. Its coastal nature and tropical location ensure temperatures do not fluctuate much throughout the year.

Which city in India has best climate? ›

5 best cities to live in based on pleasant weather conditions
  1. Pune. Pune is the second most popular district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. ...
  2. Belgaum. Located in the Western Ghats, the Belgaum city of Karnataka. ...
  3. Bangalore. ...
  4. Hyderabad. ...
  5. Chandigarh.
11 May 2022

Is India becoming too hot to live? ›

Climate change means temperatures in India are rising to the limit of human endurance. The heat is destroying health and livelihoods.

Which part of India will be underwater by 2050? ›

A new analysis on the impact of sea level rise on coastal Indian cities has revealed that some critical properties and road networks in Mumbai, Kochi, Mangalore, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, and Thiruvananthapuram will be submerged by 2050.

Will global warming affect India? ›

Potential Effects of climate change in India

Changing Rainfall Patterns: A decline in monsoon rainfall since the 1950s has already been observed. A 2°C rise in the world's average temperatures will make India's summer monsoon highly unpredictable.

Is 2022 the hottest year in India? ›

NEW DELHI: India reported one of the hottest summers in 2022 recording 203 heatwave days, which was the highest in the recent past. The maximum number of such episodes this year were reported from Uttarakhand (28), followed by Rajasthan (26), Punjab & Haryana (24 each), Jharkhand (18) and Delhi (17).

How hot is India heatwave? ›

The heatwave has also been felt in neighboring Pakistan, where the city of Nawabshah recorded a high temperature of 49.5 °C (121.1 °F) and Jacobabad and Sibi reaching 47 °C (117 °F).
...
2022 heat wave in India and Pakistan.
End dateApril 2022
Losses
Deaths90
4 more rows

How hot was India's heatwave? ›

The heat wave has caused at least 90 deaths across India and Pakistan and triggered an extreme glacial lake outburst flood in northern Pakistan and forest fires in India. Temperatures soared above 110 degrees; some areas hit as high as 115 degrees.

Which is hottest city in the world? ›

Dallol, Ethiopia

Dallol holds the official record for highest average temperature for an inhabited place on Earth. From 1960 to 1966, the annual mean temperature of the locality was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F), while the average daily maximum temperature during the same period was recorded as a scorching 41.1 °C (106.0 °F).

Where is the hottest place on Earth? ›

Death Valley holds the record for the highest air temperature on the planet: On 10 July 1913, temperatures at the aptly named Furnace Creek area in the California desert reached a blistering 56.7°C (134.1°F). Average summer temperatures, meanwhile, often rise above 45°C (113°F).

Will 2022 be the hottest year yet? ›

While it seems very unlikely that 2022 will be a record warm year for the world as a whole, it still may have many more regional climate extremes in store.

Will 2022 will be the hottest year? ›

The global mean temperature in 2022 is currently estimated to be about 1.15 [1.02 to 1.28] °C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average. A rare triple-dip cooling La Niña means that 2022 is likely to “only” be fifth or sixth warmest.

How do you survive a heat wave? ›

Stay Cool
  1. Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
  3. Don't use an electric fan when the indoor air temperature is over 95°F. ...
  4. Use your stove and oven less.

How do people survive in hot climates? ›

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death during hot weather:
  1. Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
  3. Schedule outdoor activities carefully. ...
  4. Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

How did Native Americans stay cool during summer? ›

How did they do it? Well, the Apache, Hopi, Maricopa, Mojave, Navajo, Southern Paiute, and Tohono O'odham tribes all understood the importance of living in caves. Homes built underground are naturally cooler given their surrounding temperatures.

How do people survive in hot areas? ›

Selective use of clothing and technological inventions such as air conditioning allows humans to thrive in hot climates. One example is the Chaamba Arabs, who live in the Sahara Desert. They wear clothing that traps air in between skin and the clothes, preventing the high ambient air temperature from reaching the skin.

How did British survive Indian heat? ›

The British found various coping mechanisms to tame the season's cauterizing heat. They slept sashed and scarved in water-drenched garments. They sloshed ice from northern India's rivers, then drew it to the plains at tremendous expense. They hired abdars to cool water, wine, and ale with saltpetre.

How hot is too hot for a human to live? ›

People often point to a study published in 2010 that estimated that a wet-bulb temperature of 35 C – equal to 95 F at 100 percent humidity, or 115 F at 50 percent humidity – would be the upper limit of safety, beyond which the human body can no longer cool itself by evaporating sweat from the surface of the body to ...

How long can you survive in extreme heat? ›

Most humans will suffer hyperthermia after 10 minutes in extremely humid 140-degree heat. In this environment, our body temperature could be raised to 104 degrees or above, and we will experience heatstroke, trouble breathing and organ failure.

How hot can it be outside for humans to survive? ›

It is commonly held that the maximum temperature at which humans can survive is 108.14-degree Fahrenheit or 42.3-degree Celsius.

How did people survive summer before AC? ›

Kept windows and doors shut at midday to keep hot air out. Delayed cooking, baking, and kitchen chores until the cooler evening hours. Opened windows at bedtime to let in the cool nighttime air. Blew fans across blocks of ice.

What is a true Indian summer? ›

The Met Office Meteorological Glossary first published in 1916, defines an Indian summer as 'a warm, calm spell of weather occurring in autumn, especially in October and November.

How did Indians stay warm in winter? ›

Native Americans would often use bison fur, which is well-suited for the winter because it has two layers, a tough outer later that gives some abrasion resistance, and an insulating, inner down layer.

What is the warmest part of the female body? ›

Different parts of our body have different temperatures, with the rectum being the warmest (37℃), followed by the ears, urine and the mouth. The armpit (35.9℃) is the coldest part of our body that is usually measured.

What did British do to Indian people? ›

After oppressing India for 200 years, draining its wealth and filling their own coffers, the U.K. ripped the Indian subcontinent into pieces just before they finally left. The partition of 1947 that came along with India's independence left nearly one million dead and 13 million displaced.

How did England treat Indians? ›

Indians were looked down upon by the British and Indian culture was treated as inferior to European culture. The British were ETHNOCENTRIC. Indian workers provided the British with inexpensive (cheap) labor – worked long hours, often under terrible working conditions.

How did people survive the heat in the olden days? ›

Many community buildings in hot areas were built on hilltops or rises to catch more breeze during the summer. Houses were built with breezes in mind. Each window had another on the opposite side of the house with a doorway between to catch the maximum breeze. People would bathe at night and go to bed damp.

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