How does thermal stress affect our future?
How does thermal stress affect our future?
Client
Copernicus Climate Change, ECMWF
Location
Worldwide
Explore the hub
Explore the hub

What is thermal stress? How has it evolved until now? Why is it important for our future?

Lobelia developed for ECMWF, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the Thermal Stress Story Hub, a virtual space where you can explore thermal stress evolution across the world from 1980 to 2100. Through different stories Lobelia team guides you in understanding how thermal stress is and will affect our lives now and in the future.

Explore the hub
Explore the hub
The Universal Thermal Climate Index

The Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) is an indicator to express in °C the thermal well being of a person in relation to the surrounding environment (Bröde et al. 2011).

It indicates the real temperature perceived by a human body based on a series of external variables, not limited to air temperature. Thermal stress is divided into 10 stress categories ranging from extreme heat stress to extreme cold stress.

Thermal stress effect on people

Extreme heat and extreme cold are responsible for a variety of health risks, including death, especially during heat waves or if cold stress conditions are prolonged in time. Increases in thermal stress affect liveability of wide areas, especially around the equator.

A threat for human lives

To survive thermal stress, people across the world are adopting different behaviours. Understanding UTCI’s historical evolution and future changes is of paramount importance to develop timely adaptation and mitigation policies to alleviate its consequences but also to reduce counter-effects derived by human behaviour in response to it through the implementation of carbon-neutral solutions.

Visit the UTCI Story Hub
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