Professor Tord Kjellstrom
Director, Health and Environment International Trust, Nelson and Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University; also affiliated with University College London and Umea University, Sweden
Climate change is already creating a hotter environment during the hot season in most cities of the world. Heat stress at temperatures above 30 oC creates difficulties for people doing heavy physical labour. This is sometimes a problem in New Zealand in forestry work, and the problems will increase. In tropical countries where occupational heat stress occurs each day during many months each year, the increased workplace heat will impact on local economic development because the only way to reduce the serious heat stroke risk in jobs that cannot be artificially cooled, is to slow down work and reduce productivity. This effect of climate change has been very poorly analysed and presented in reviews of the impacts of climate change, and new research initiatives from New Zealand aim to make more evidence available.