Exposure, Impacts, and Responses to Heat Stress: A Comparison Between Rural and Peri-urban Poor Population


This study is an attempt to understand the differences in exposure, impacts, and responses to heat stress between peri-urban and rural population. Furthermore, it explores how crucial a role heat stress plays in impacting migration decisions. Based on the analysis of an ensemble of regional climate models, it is found that the studied region is projected to undergo an increase in the frequency of heat waves under RCP 8.5 scenario. Afterwards, a randomly selected household survey was carried out at rural as well as peri-urban areas of Faisalabad. At both areas, the available economic opportunities were analyzed to understand how economic well-being and type of occupation are associated with thermal discomfort. It was found that people involved in outdoor activities are highly vulnerable to heat stress. Poverty is one of the prime barriers to adapt to heat stress. People’s livelihoods, in terms of labor productivity and decline in agriculture production, are reported to be affected by the heat stress. This study found that peri-urban respondents came from the rural areas of the district and other cities across the providence to improve their level of income and reduce their vulnerabilities but due to the low level of education and skills, they have only been able to improve their livelihoods to a limited extent. As a result, there is very little improvement in their standard of living as well as their thermal discomfort/exposure to heat stress.

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This study is based on the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA).

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Correspondence to Muhammad Awais Umar.

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Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 52 kb) S 1: Indoor temperature distribution

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Umar, M.A., Saeed, F., Salik, K.M. et al. Exposure, Impacts, and Responses to Heat Stress: A Comparison Between Rural and Peri-urban Poor Population. Earth Syst Environ 2, 633–642 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41748-018-0070-x

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  • Migration
  • Climate change
  • Heat stress
  • Poverty