Heat rage now all the rage

Friday, 18 February, 2005

High temperatures can cause aggressive behaviour, heat stress and ultimately increase death rates.

Leading meteorologist and University of Newcastle lecturer, Martin Babakhan says that the heat can have a dramatic effect on human behaviour. "The evidence, mostly from the USA, shows that aggressive behaviour such as street offences and riots in cities increase during hot weather. Recent Australian studies show similar links between offensive behaviour and hot weather.

"In the hotter parts of Australia, dehydration and heat stress can be a risk, particularly for unacclimatised people. Full acclimatisation generally requires about 10 days of exercise in hot conditions. During hot weather, the city's warmer nights can delay overnight recovery from heat stress and heat stroke. As a result, death rates in cities show a peak during heat waves," says Martin.

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