Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Heat Waves

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_167

Definition

Heat is a feeling of discomfort. Continuous heat increases the discomfort and may cause adverse effects on health particularly combined with high levels of humidity or when exacerbated by a person’s physical condition. If heat lasts for more than a couple of days it is called a heat wave. In the mid and high-latitudes, heat waves are embedded in the usual course of summer weather; in the tropics they are endemic.

Introduction

Most individuals feel comfortable with respect to thermal conditions, if little or no thermal-regulatory activities are necessary to keep the body core temperature at the level of 36.8°C. This generally is the case in conditions of slight air movement, no solar radiation, low humidity, and the air temperature in the lower to mid-20s given in °C, for indoor and outdoor conditions (Fanger, 1972). There are many additional factors involved when considering the felt heat comfort of a concrete individual, such as the general health and living conditions,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Bureau of Meteorology of Australia, 2010. About the WBGT and Apparent Temperature Indices. Commonwealth of Australia 2010, Bureau of Meteorology, ABN 92 637 533 532.Google Scholar
  2. EM-DAT, 2012. The OFDA/CRED International Data Base, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium. http://www.emdat.be.
  3. Fanger, P. O., 1972. Thermal Comfort. Analysis and Applications in Environmental Analysis. New York: Mc Graw-Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Gaspar, A., and Quintela, D., 2009. Physical modeling of globe and natural wet bulb temperatures to predict WBGT heat stress index in indoor environments. International Journal of Biometeorology, 53, 221–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. IPCC, 2012. Summary for policymakers. In Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disastersto Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Cambridge, UK/ NewYork: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Jendritzky, G., and Birger, T., 2009. The thermal environment of the human being on the global scale. Global Health Action2. Online : globalhealthaction.net. doi:10.3402/gha.v2/0.2005.Google Scholar
  7. Jendritzky, G., Sönning, W., Swantes, H.-J., and Jendritzky, G., 1979. Ein objectives Bewertungsverfahren zur Beschreibung des thermischen Milieus in der Stadt- und Landschaftsplanung (Klima-Michel-Modell). Hannover: H. Schroedel. Beitr. Akad. F. Raumforschung und Landesplanung, Vol. 28. 85.Google Scholar
  8. Luterbacher, J., Dietrich, D., Xoplaki, E., Grisjean, M., and Wanner, H., 2004. European seasonal and annual temperature variability, trends and extremes since 1500. Science, 303, 1499–1503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Robine, J.-M., Cheung, S., Le Roy, S., van Oyen, H., and Herrmann, F., 2007. Report on Excess Mortality in Europe During Summer 2003 EU community Action Programme for Public Health, p.15, Health, grant agreement 2005114; ec.europa.eu/health/ph-projects/2005/action1/docs/action1_2005_a2_15_en.pdf.Google Scholar
  10. Schär, C., Vidale, P., Lüthi, D., Frei, C., Häberli, C., Liniger, M., and Appenzeller, C., 2004. The role of increasing temperature variability in European summer heat waves. Nature, 427, 332–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schönwiese, C., Staeger, T., Trömel, S., Jonas, M., 2003. Statistisch-klimatologische Analyse des Hitzesommers 2003 in Deutschland. Deutscher Wetterdienst Klimastatusbericht 2003, pp. 123–132.Google Scholar
  12. Trigo, R. M., Garcia-Herrera, R., Diaz, J., Trigo, F., and Valente, M., 2005. How exceptional was the early August heat wave in France? Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L10701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. US Army and Air Force Department, 2003. Heat stress control and heat casulaty management. Technical Bulletin TB MED 507/AFPAM 48–152 (1), Washington, DC: USA, 72 p.Google Scholar
  14. Yaglou, C., and Minard, D., 1957. Control of heat casualties at military training centres. American Medical Association Archives of Industrial health, 16, 302–316.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Meteorologie, Universität LeipzigLeipzigGermany