The annual average number of days over 35 degrees Celsius in Gladstone has more than doubled since the mid-20th century. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology project further increases, with the number of extreme heat days to triple by 2070 – and these projections appear optimistic. Extreme heat will have profound effects on human health, industries and ecosystems.
At temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius the human body’s ability to cool itself reduces, making it a common benchmark temperature for occupational health and safety experts, academic and government researchers. Combined with 70% humidity, conditions over 35 degrees are considered ‘extremely dangerous’ by government agencies such as the US Government National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.