Skip to content

Climate change: Summers could become ‘too hot for humans’-BBC

July 18, 2020

By Paul Homewood

h/t Robin Guenier



An utterly ridiculous article, even by BBC standards!


Millions of people around the world could be exposed to dangerous levels of heat stress – a dangerous condition which can cause organs to shut down.

Many live in developing countries, and do jobs that expose them to potentially life threatening conditions.

These include being out in the open on farms and building sites or indoors in factories and hospitals.

Global warming will increase the chances of summer conditions that may be "too hot for humans" to work in.

When we caught up with Dr Jimmy Lee, his goggles were steamed up and there was sweat trickling off his neck.

An emergency medic, he’s labouring in the stifling heat of tropical Singapore to care for patients with Covid-19.

There’s no air conditioning – a deliberate choice, to prevent the virus being blown around – and he notices that he and his colleagues become "more irritable, more short with each other".

And his personal protective equipment, essential for avoiding infection, makes things worse by creating a sweltering ‘micro-climate’ under the multiple layers of plastic.

"It really hits you when you first go in there," Dr Lee says, "and it’s really uncomfortable over a whole shift of eight hours – it affects morale."……

A system known as the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) measures not only heat but also humidity and other factors to give a more realistic description of the conditions.

Back in the 1950s, the US military used it to work out guidelines for keeping soldiers safe.

When the WBGT reaches 29C, for example, the recommendation is to suspend exercise for anyone not acclimatised.

Yet that’s the level Dr Lee and his colleagues are regularly experiencing at Singapore’s Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

And at the top of the scale – when the WBGT registers 32C – the US says strenuous training should stop because the risk becomes "extreme".

But levels that high have recently been recorded inside hospitals in Chennai in India by Prof Vidhya Venugopal of the Sri Ramachandra University.

She’s also found workers in a salt pan enduring a WBGT that climbs during the day to 33C – at which point they have to seek shelter.

And in a steel plant, a ferocious level of 41.7C was recorded, the workers being among the most vulnerable to what she calls "the huge heat".

"If this happens day-in, day-out, people become dehydrated, there are cardiovascular issues, kidney stones, heat exhaustion," Prof Venugopal says.

As global temperatures rise, more intense humidity is likely as well which means more people will be exposed to more days with that hazardous combination of heat and moisture.

Prof Richard Betts of the UK Met Office has run computer models which suggest that the number of days with a WBGT above 32C are set to increase, depending on whether greenhouse gas emissions are cut.

And he spells out the risks for millions of people already having to work in the challenging combination of extreme heat and high humidity.

"We humans evolved to live in a particular range of temperatures, so it’s clear that if we continue to cause temperatures to rise worldwide, sooner or later the hottest parts of the world could start to see conditions that are simply too hot for us."


The problem in the Singapore hospital has nothing to do with global warming – it is down to the switching off of air conditioning and the use of PPE, both as a result of COVID-19.

Indeed, air conditioning is the solution for the billions who already live all their lives in hot and humid conditions. And a widespread roll out of air conditioning in poorer countries requires economic growth and a cheap, reliable source of energy.

As for those who work outside, the solution is pretty obvious, as the article notes:

According to Dr Jimmy Lee, "it’s not rocket science". People need to drink plenty of fluid before they start work, take regular breaks and then drink again when they rest.

 Indeed, as southern European countries learnt centuries ago, you simply go and lie down in the shade during the heat of midday.

Perhaps Richard Betts has never heard of a siesta?

  1. David Parker permalink
    July 18, 2020 10:23 am

    “during the heat of midday. Indeed, as southern European countries learnt centuries ago, you simply go and lie down in the shade”
    but mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

  2. JimW permalink
    July 18, 2020 10:28 am

    But its part of the plan. Fear of covid in tropical and sub-tropical countries will mean less and less A/C and of course then less energy needs. Population decrease across huge swathes of the globe. Just what the doctor ordered, ‘doctor’ being the totally unqualified Mr Gates of course.

  3. Alan Fields permalink
    July 18, 2020 10:30 am

    Has this toiletbrush ever been outside of UK ?

    What strange world does he live in?

    Try tellung this rubbish in Australia where people regularly work outside in high temperarures. the answer as always is education and technology

    • Sheri permalink
      July 18, 2020 5:46 pm

      It does seem some of the British have zero contact with the reality of heat. Days over 100F and high humidity have existed for centuries in many areas. The people there did not die out, obviously. The Dust Bowl was extremely hot, dry and nasty–hotter than today. Yet people survived. Academics, researchers and writers have zero contact with reality……As such, they should be mocked and ridiculed.

    • Colin MacDonald permalink
      July 18, 2020 10:14 pm

      Clearly never worked in the engine room of a ship either. I think there’s an IMO regulation stipulating how many bottles of water you need to have easily accessible to ship’s engine rooms, don’t want seaman dying from heatstroke . I speak from experience here, it got beyond 40°C and this was in the North Sea!

      • Duker permalink
        July 19, 2020 12:05 am

        So thats why ships engineers were the slim or lanky type, compared to the deck officers.
        Go to outback Australia and the same body type predominates.

  4. Athelstan. permalink
    July 18, 2020 10:30 am

    “summers too hot for humans”

    try telling that to the lads who worked in the foundries – when we had some and during the summer.

    “too hot for humans” – “humans”? when they – bbc actually mean too hot for plastic snowflake dweebs.

  5. JBW permalink
    July 18, 2020 10:48 am

    Clearly never been to the middle east, where lots of migrant workers toil on building sites in the sun.

  6. July 18, 2020 10:53 am

    Too hot for humans.

    This is not a BBC creation but derived from a climate science research paper published in a peer reviewed journal. Pls see

    • Mad Mike permalink
      July 18, 2020 11:12 am

      They talk of 29C as being the maximum ten. we can live in, if I read it correctly, yet a quick google search revealed that the average July and August temperatures in Rome is 31C and Cairo is 35C. The inhabitants of these 2 cities seems to thrive and indeed lots of people are attracted there during these months.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        July 18, 2020 11:23 am

        Actually they are the average HIGH temperatures

      • July 18, 2020 1:42 pm

        The issue is mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation over a much larger geographical span than selected cities.

  7. July 18, 2020 10:56 am

    Like Polar Bears, Like Coral Bleaching, Like coral atols sinking, like sea level rise the marxists running the news in the BBC realize that if you say it often enough then the weak minded will believe it, after all it is the BBC that onetime paragon of impartiality. This is why their lopsided BLM reporting and general race gender and identity reporting is so unacceptable and dangerous because what on earth are the mass of the 250k net invanderers of our country to think if this icon tells them every single day how the sky is going to fall in and we are sexist and racist…yada yada yada. What is SO pathetic is after 35 years and so much money spent on climate nonsense all that the believers have in their shop window are these pathetic repeatedly disproven claims. Worst of all is they have discovered that the penalties for telling lies are non existent. This is why you see each of these pathetic memes recycled again and again and again because in this post Enlightenment era, they cannot believe their luck in that feelings and claims are more important than empirical evidence. After banging on and on and on about polar bears what did they do when someone actually exposed that those receiving millions of USD in research grants were actually doing nothing? They made personal attacks to discredit the author (Dr Susan Crockford), waited a few months then started the same story again but this time focused on claims of starving bears because of global whatisname . They published umpteen articles sensationalizing bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef giving column inches to any shoddy claims of doom. They claimed the water is too hot, they claimed the corals were bleaching as a consequence and some crazy % was affected. It then took Dr Peter Ridd to stand up and show the researchers were doing nothing with the millions of USD they received and pointed out a lot of home truths showing a LOT of the bleaching is due to the coral being exposed above sea level and as for temperature, the coral species prefer warmer water as shown by the same species living further north in Indonesian waters. His fate? He lost his job and the BBC published pathetic personal attacks on him with the scammers whining about him daring to expose their fraud, in a word being a scientist! Coral islands, well geology has explained for a lot of years why they sink but that does not stop the BBC pushing the emotional sad stories and supporting the demands for cash. They simply go quiet on an issue for a while and when they think the stupid public have forgotten about the empirical data based challenges, out it all comes again maybe with another twist but largely regurgitating the same old same old…

    • July 18, 2020 11:29 am

      The BBC are amblance-chasing, basically. Any passing story that can be made to fit their climate alarm narrative, however absurd the link may be, is given the headline treatment.

  8. calnorth permalink
    July 18, 2020 10:58 am

    BBC nonsense. I lived and worked in S. Arabia and Oman for 10 years during the 70s/80s. Its hot (45C), humid and salty in places at times….fluctuating as Mummy Nature desires. Aircons rot off of walls in 3 years. In fact it was hotter in Italy one year when we went to holiday there from Jeddah. And Italy was not stacked with Aircon….very uncomfortable. UK has a similar problem…lacking domestic Aircon —> high electricity prices…nothing new? It was the same in the RAF (60’s)…is now Dubai (UAE)….oh, the days of Fans.

  9. Mad Mike permalink
    July 18, 2020 11:21 am

    Good article by Charles Moore in the DT

    Its about the damning effects of the trolls on Twitter and the bias of the BBC if it is behind a paywall.

    This is a taster.

    “I was recently informed that a concept called “reverse mentoring” has entered the civil service. Senior staff of 30 years’ experience are each assigned to a young employee in, say, IT, who observes them at work and reports on whether they exhibit “unconscious bias”, “micro-aggressions”, and other sins which cry to Heaven for vengeance.”

    We’re all doomed alright but it won’t be CC.

    • Neil Wilkinson permalink
      July 18, 2020 11:57 am

      Komsommol…. ?

  10. fmassen permalink
    July 18, 2020 12:05 pm

    we are measuring the WBGT since many, many years in Diekirch, Luxembourg: look at
    Nothing spectacular, besides summers being warmer than winters!

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 18, 2020 12:33 pm

    Perhaps Richard Betts has never heard of a siesta?

    I bet that if Betts put ‘siesta’ into a model it would come out ‘fiesta’! Which kinda speaks to the level of accuracy of models.

  12. July 18, 2020 1:06 pm

    Scotland won’t be too hot for humans any time soon 😅

    • dearieme permalink
      July 18, 2020 3:09 pm

      But the Scots will be able to seek shade under their grape vines or banana plants.

  13. Broadlands permalink
    July 18, 2020 1:37 pm

    “Global warming will increase the chances of summer conditions that may be “too hot for humans” to work in.”

    Not to worry, the chances are good that winter conditions will resume. It may be too cold for humans to work…other than to explain why global warming makes it colder?

  14. Harry Davidson permalink
    July 18, 2020 1:40 pm

    I saw this article a couple of days ago. “I wonder if they’ll get turned over?” I thought.

    These days my favourite example of an oxymoron is “BBC factchecker”.

  15. Ray Sanders permalink
    July 18, 2020 1:51 pm

    Talking of Air Conditioning along comes Jillian Ambrose to totally misrepresent a report.
    Go to the original data and it is actually more about refrigerators but hey why let the facts get in the way.

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 18, 2020 3:01 pm

      Facts in the way? “Reductions of between 210 and 460 billion tons of carbon dioxide-(CO2) equivalent emissions can be delivered over the next four decades through actions to improve the cooling industry’s energy efficiency together with the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants, according to the report.”

      That’s the equivalent of 27 to 59 parts-per million of CO2 EMISSIONS, not NET-zero atmospheric CO2. Six to 12 gigatons per year left in the ground? That leaves long-distance transportation to depend on ‘renewables’. And it leaves the atmosphere where it is now, likely to be increasing regardless? Not a very well thought through Mario Molina, one of the instigators of the removal of CFCs and refrigeration for the poorest nations.

  16. Mike Jackson permalink
    July 18, 2020 2:39 pm

    I have, after much thought, concluded that the BBC has changed its original motto — Nation shall speak peace unto nation (originally “shall not take up sword …”, Isaiah) — and replaced it with ‘Beeb will speak b******s unto nation“. The next development will to replace its coat of arms with a symbolic raised digit (or two, according to choice!)

  17. CheshireRed permalink
    July 18, 2020 3:01 pm

    Relentless tripe from the BBC. Give them the finger by refusing to pay their TV tax. I sacked them off years ago. Not a penny more.

  18. Stonyground permalink
    July 18, 2020 3:15 pm

    Sorry to be OT but over at WUWT they are commenting on this:

    “The New Ford Bronco Is An Obscene Monument to Climate Denialism.”

    This seems to be causing everyone at Anthony’s site to want one.

    • JBW permalink
      July 18, 2020 3:37 pm

      Well its bit like the Streisand effect. Make a fuss and everyone wants to do the opposite, more or less. Ever since that story of the Police stopping people buying Hot Cross Buns, as they were deemed non essential, has meant we are still regularly eating them even now!

  19. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    July 18, 2020 3:46 pm

    Singapore’s founding father thought air conditioning was the secret to his country’s success

    Makes me think of:

  20. Peter Shellis permalink
    July 18, 2020 3:52 pm

    What else would you expect of an organization like the BBC, which appoints people with a degree in geography as a ‘science editor’?

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      July 18, 2020 4:58 pm

      To be (a little bit) fair, Geography is a lot closer to science than some of the useless qualifications they seem to prefer. One of the most scientifically minded men I have ever known was a geographer and his views on climate “science” are what you would expect from someone who qualified forty years ago!

      (His command of English when giving his views on climate scientists is pretty good as well! Not for tender ears.)

      • Stonyground permalink
        July 18, 2020 5:23 pm

        I studied sciences, ok to a basic level, at school in the 1970s. I find it significant that the basics of the scientific method were never taught and that I had to learn them for myself by reading a lot after I left school. Particularly the idea of creating a hypothesis and then testing it through experimentation and observation. Anyone who understood just this basic principle would understand that climatology, as it is currently practiced, is not science.

      • dave permalink
        July 19, 2020 4:26 pm


        “…scientific method…”

        I think it was just assumed that one would pick up a scientific bent from the form in which the established facts were presented. Probably a mistake.

        In my school, the after-hours “Science Club” once invited a professional chemist to give a talk to us, and explain how it all worked. None of us really understood even the title, which was “The Scientific Method in Industry,” and I was just not interested in going.

        However, a Master came round and said that only a couple of boys were attending, and it would be unkind to the speaker to have such a small audience. We went along, to make up the numbers, and I was certainly glad I did. Until then, I did not know there WAS such a thing as a scientific method based on collaboration. I felt that science was produced by solitary genius, spun out of imagination in a manner similar to that of artists.

        Of course, as always, the pendulum has now swung again, to an opposite extreme, where much academic science is a boring shuffle, in lock-step, along futile paths of error.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      July 19, 2020 6:40 am

      It’s not a science issue, plenty of scientists talk utter b*ll*cks on plenty of issues. It’s the total lack of questioning on many subjects across the board. For years it was clear on the BBC in terms of politics – Labour politicians would basically be agreed with but Tories would get the third degree – but now the Greens, the Woke, BLM, all get reported with this childish breathless agreement rather than being subject to any even slightly sceptical questioning. This piece is a classic – reported as if every claim is a fact, without anybody asked for an opinion on the claims, without any attempt to question whether say drinking water might prevent dehydration.

      It’s a huge problem with the BBC now, that vast swathes of political activism is presented as unchallenged and unchallengeable fact.

  21. John Smith permalink
    July 18, 2020 3:59 pm

    Usual tosh from The BBC. I spent two periods of several years living and working in Papua New Guinea and survived the “normal” temperature of around 30 C most of the time. Hated air con and kept if off. Shivered at night when it went down to 20 C. Loved walking in the sun where it was often over 40 C.
    I now live in Scotland. Hate the cold and can’t wait to get back to The tropics.

  22. Gamecock permalink
    July 18, 2020 5:34 pm

    ‘Prof Richard Betts of the UK Met Office has run computer models which suggest that the number of days with a WBGT above 32C are set to increase, depending on whether greenhouse gas emissions are cut.’

    Don’t curse Betts. He didn’t do it! It was them clever ‘computer models.’ I think they programmed Obama’s teleprompter, too.

    • Sheri permalink
      July 18, 2020 5:54 pm

      I’d be worried if I lived in a computer model.

      • Broadlands permalink
        July 18, 2020 6:32 pm

        But we are all living in a computer modeled world where the results are considered a ‘settled science’ climate emergency, even if the solutions to the impending crisis have not been modeled to prevent it. We should be worried.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        July 18, 2020 7:22 pm

        “I’d be worried if I lived in a computer model.” – Metoo..Let’s face it, when it comes to AGW, ‘All Lies Matter’ – to them. (I thought about White Lies Matter but, a) they’re not trivial, they’re out and out lies, and b) wokiSSm is watching.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        July 18, 2020 9:07 pm

        “Is shagging a computer model cybersex?.”…Discuss.

  23. July 18, 2020 6:52 pm

    As the old saying from the 1960’s goes:
    “Is that true, or did you hear it on the BBC ?”

  24. Jason permalink
    July 18, 2020 7:16 pm

    Man in mask in hot country gets hot and sweaty when he turns the aircon off. The only facts in the article. And this is somehow news?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 18, 2020 7:23 pm


  25. I don't believe it! permalink
    July 18, 2020 8:15 pm

    Over 41*c in a steel works. No idea why that might be!

  26. July 18, 2020 8:31 pm

    Here in Vermont, US, we have air conditioning.

    In my house, I have 3 Mitsubishi heat pumps, each with 2 heads (indoor wall-hung units) to cool the house in summer and heat it in winter.

    Many other people do not have that, so they have to suffer the heat and cold.

    They have to grin and bear it or move further north.

    I do not feel sorry for them, because I saved and invested, so I could have an HVAC system.

    The earth was never meant to have 8 or 10 billion people.
    One billion would have been more than enough.

  27. Gerry, England permalink
    July 18, 2020 8:42 pm

    The most recent good news has been the cull of 180 editorial staff at the Guardian and over 500 cuts in the BBC ‘news’ department. Both due to financial reasons.

  28. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 19, 2020 9:00 am

    Oh dear! And I was just viewing a youtube from the Met Office saying that the UK had a pleasant temperate climate, not too hot or cold.
    What is climate? – Met Office climate change guide

    about 53 seconds in

  29. Vic Hanby permalink
    July 19, 2020 9:02 am

    I was once asked to devise and run a thermal model of a steel rolling mill in the Middle East. The client was concerned that it might be too hot for the overhead crane operator to work safely. The result, ‘sorry about this, it’s just over 50 C’ was greeted by the client ‘that’s OK then’.

  30. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 19, 2020 3:48 pm

    I remember reading a couple of years ago that without heat and clothes most of the world is unhabiable for humans, the naked ape.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: