Rising temperatures and more frequent heat events have far-reaching consequences for humans, animals and the environment. In cities and major urban regions, limited wind circulation, lack of shading and green areas, absorption of solar radiation by sealed surfaces and waste heat from industry, buildings and traffic contribute to the heat-island effect, which increases daytime heat and reduces nocturnal cooling. Risks arise, in particular, as a result of more frequent, intense and prolonged heat waves that stress the population and can be life-threatening for old, sick and dependent persons as well as infants and pregnant women. At high temperatures, the risk of food poisoning also increases due to the reduced shelf life of perishable foods. Heat and drought can also mean social exclusion, for example, by restricting the freedom of movement of sensitive groups of the population, or by throwing off balance the household budget of low earners due to increased housing costs. With respect to livestock, heat has a detrimental effect on well-being and performance. Open stable systems and grazing in the valley area are susceptible.
Last modification 13.10.2017
Federal Office for the Environment
Reporting and Adaptation Section