What’s the Wet-Bulb Temperature | Survivability Threshold

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 20, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

The official wet-bulb temperature of 35˚C (95˚F)  is the maximum temperature the human body can successfully cool itself on its own to keep from overheating, aAccording to a recent report published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Once we cross the survivability threshold into the danger zone, the combination of heat and humidity results in the skin’s inability to sweat fast enough to cool the body, and we can succumb to heatstroke within a few hours of being outside, which is potentially fatal.

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Bloomberg Green reports that there are several cities along the Gulf Coast that have already experienced this type of extreme condition, maximum heat combined with maximum humidity, and have repeatedly crossed into the danger zone. New Orleans is one such city. The concept of there being a survivability threshold that has already been reached in some parts of America, is almost unfathomable. Large populations live in these areas. If the conditions are unsurvivable, they’ll be forced to move. The injustice is maddening.

It always seems to be the same routine. A certain percent of the population disregards the warnings and recommended guidelines, and selfishly pursues material gain at the exclusion of everything else. This causes a negative ripple effect that impacts those of lesser means, with limited resources, resulting in a downward spiral for large segments of the population that involves further financial strain. The rich get richer, everyone else becomes more financially challenged, and climate change extremes increase, impacting an increasing number of vulnerable communities and  cities. This is what climate injustice is all about. Thankfully, the Build Back Better begins the path forward to address this life-threatening inequity.

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If we can’t immediately recognize that this is one of the most significant species-endangering realities yet, there’s no hope. Everyone has to be all in on “system change NOT climate change” to save our species. If individuals aren’t self-motivated to make the necessary changes, then local, state and federal governments will have to force them. 🌎

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