Climate models suggest that South Asia will experience a higher number of days with very high temperatures that will have disastrous direct and indirect impacts on human health and livelihoods. There is limited understanding of how these temperatures calculated at low resolution are experienced by human beings, the factors that mediate this experience, as well as how these temperatures will actually impact day-to-day lives, including their ability to work or perform household and related chores.
In an attempt to bridge this gap, our team, in collaboration with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India, will collect empirical high resolution body temperature data as well as ambient temperature and humidity data across a variety of home and work-based settings in communities most at-risk of suffering from extreme temperatures. In addition, we will use quantitative and qualitative data collection efforts to understand behavioral response to extreme heat including the impact on mobility, mental health, access to livelihoods, and work productivity.
We expect this to be a first-of-its-kind study providing empirical and downscaled data on lived experiences of extreme temperatures and humidity. The generation of these data will allow contextual, local application of climate projections – enabling both local communities and local governments to plan adaptation interventions that can ameliorate the impact of extreme heat – and also demonstrate the critical need for data-driven, evidence-based, local planning for climate change