Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels (Pat'n Chip) keep plugging away at their weird notion that no matter how hot it gets, humans will adapt and fewer will die from heat-related causes. Here is part of what they write at WUWT (archived here):
The cause of the observed decline in the sensitivity to extreme heat in the face of rising heat is likely found in a collection of adaptations including increased access to air-conditioning, better medical care, improved building design, community response programs, heat watch/warning systems, and biophysical changes. There is no reason to think that such response measures won’t continue to exist and be improved upon into the future.In our recent study summarizing the findings on declining heat-related mortality trends in both the U.S and Europe, we made this observation (Knappenberger et al., 2014):
So everyone who lives somewhere that's affected by heatwaves, make sure you upgrade your air conditioner and try to find one that will work at 47°C plus. (I picked that number because I once had to drive my car in 47°C heat for half an hour or so to try to get the air conditioner fixed. I don't know how I made it without passing out. Also, I'm sure I'm not the only one whose home air conditioner is only rated to 43°C, the best we could find at the time.)
Not that your air-conditioner will do you much good when the power goes out because either it's broken down or can't cope with the stress on the system, caused by the heat wave. Heat can kill hundreds of people in a single heat wave. Maybe Pat'n Chip live in a very mild climate.
Make sure your local hospital is equipped to cope with the influx of people who get caught in future heat waves (those that don't collapse and die on the spot). And don't forget to boost your paramedic services. Hospitals won't help if you can't get there. Stuff more insulation in your ceiling space and walls and don't go outside, whatever you do. Even if that means you get the sack from your job or your sports team (see also here).
I really don't know why Pat'n Chip keep beating this dead horse. Where I live there is a big spike in the number of deaths in a heat wave. Horrid heat is not something you want to inflict on anyone, unless you're like Pat'n Chip who don't care about those suffering the heat in India or South America or Australia or elsewhere.
Although it hasn't happened yet, as the world warms it's conceivable that large areas could become uninhabitable. That's not because of heat alone. It's because when temperatures soar enough alongside humidity then it exceeds the physiological tolerance of humans. This was described by two researchers a few years ago. Stephen Sherwood from the University of New South Wales and Matthew Huber from Purdue University did the maths and this is documented clearly and succinctly in their abstract:
Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation. Peak heat stress, quantified by the wetbulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible. While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning. One implication is that recent estimates of the costs of unmitigated climate change are too low unless the range of possible warming can somehow be narrowed. Heat stress also may help explain trends in the mammalian fossil record.
So although it would be quite a few decades before global temperatures rise 7 °C, there will still likely be parts of the world where those conditions could arise for short periods of time later this century. Particularly if we don't reduce carbon emissions enough.
Heat waves don't just kill people directly. They also affect the ability to supply electricity, they spark fires and cause them to turn into catastrophic killers, they dry up bodies of water and exacerbate drought. Heat is very pleasant in moderation. Too much of a good thing will kill.
I consider people like Pat'n Chip a menace to society.
From the WUWT comments
Eve doesn't give a rats for people who die in the heat and says:
June 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm
I have been freezing in Canada since I returned from the Bahamas. I have not had the quilt off since I arrived, plus having to wear long pants, long sleeves, no heat wave, just cold. Where is Obama that he is so hot? Tell him to turn down the heat.
Tom Harley is deluded about southern Australia. It can get much hotter down south than it does in the tropics. He says:
June 20, 2014 at 9:21 pm
Majormike1 is right, here in the tropical north of Australia, thousands of climate refugees are towing their camper vans, trailers and wotnot all over the region, clogging up the roads, hotels, resorts and camping grounds, just to get away from ‘the cold’ in the ‘Southern Australian States’.
Those of us who have lived here long enough, hate to leave here, even in the summer.
If you want your cold, you can keep your cold. Stay away Mr President. Bring global warming back, now.
Eric Worrall suggests everyone move to beautiful Hervey Bay and says:
June 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm
I’ve got good news – when it gets too hot, here in Sunny Hervey Bay, 25 degrees south of the Equator, we wear shorts and t-shirts.
Hervey Bay has a lot of retired people, because of the year round pleasant climate, a lot like Florida. So far, heat related mortality does not seem to be an issue.
Sherwood, Steven C., and Matthew Huber. "An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, no. 21 (2010): 9552-9555. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913352107