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BANGKOK 26 April 2019 07:44

Scorching summer coming, experts warn

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15 hours ago, kannot said:

last 2  years  in pranburi have been very different from the previous 4, 2017-18 had a  lot mor e rain and  not as  cold,saw 13c  once in 2013 since then lowest was 18c hottest 44c  but  not recently.

Thailand .......always hot

True that. Getting hotter for sure. Less relief in the winter. The rain comes as a welcome relief, as there is some cloud cover. I will take as much rain as nature can deliver. Not particularly fond of the sun, here in Thailand. Sunshine here is very over rated. 

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The OP is in a publication in English, but the warning was submitted for the Thai people, many of whom work outdoors or without the benefits of air conditioning. The human body relies upon sweat and evaporation of that sweat to cool itself and avoid heat stroke whenever the temperature is above 35ºC. Simple metabolism while at rest generates heat to the body core. Add in physical activity/ labor and the risks of health issues, even death increase. The warning is very appropriate and not to be ignored. Death can strike far more quickly than caused by smog in the cities. As the specific days approach, I hope the warnings will be more robust and specific as to allowances needed for the workers we all rely upon.
Yes, Thai summers are generally hot. The article points to the likelihood that this summer will be hotter than usual. In my prior comments, I have pointed to this being part of a trend. The 2016 El Nino caused deaths to thousands in India and Pakistan, with this year's conditions in Thailand forecast to be similar - for some regions. Do not expect workers to be productive in such heat, acclimation has limits that even well conditioned people can not survive. It is a function of mammalian metabolism. Most work outdoors will need to stop during the worst of it - especially if/when those temps are reached while the monsoons start, causing humidity to rise, reducing the effectiveness of sweating. Outdoors can become a deathly hot sauna. As temperatures approach wet bulb conditions ( for humans that is 35ºC at 99% humidity) sweat can not evaporate off the body and the body core temperatures can not be cooled naturally. A/C or cool water baths / swimming become necessities.

There are scientific papers that define how to calculate the temperature/ humidity/ air pressure conditions of highest risk, but I found one paper from Australia that states the problem in lay terms... especially the final 3 pages. Those pages include tables for temperature and %time per hour of work to allow for different temperatures and conditions.
Management & Prevention Of Heat Stress (20 page PDF)

Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT). Considered the simplest of indices to use (hence its continued recommended use by NIOSH, NH&MRC, ACTU). The index was devised for use in US military field operations. The index is sensitive to dry bulb, radiant and natural wet bulb temperatures, and air velocity. It can be adjusted to take into account clothing, work rate or duration of exposure.




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