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Pasha 101: Two researchers unpack extreme temperatures in South Africa

Extreme heat and extreme cold can both have an impact on human health. With a changing climate, these events are set to occur more often. They are also becoming increasingly difficult to predict.

Extreme heat stress can result in heatstroke and can affect people’s cardiovascular health. There are significant health concerns related to extreme heat events, particularly when people aren’t prepared for them. Extreme cold temperatures present a different set of challenges. For example, they can affect low income communities who live in vulnerable housing.

Extreme temperatures can also affect plants and animals.

In today’s episode of Pasha, Jennifer Fitchett, an associate professor of physical geography at the University of the Witwatersrand, and Adriaan van der Walt, a lecturer in geography at the University of the Free State, discuss their research on these extreme heat and cold events and why it’s important to try to track them.


Photo:
“Heat in South Africa concept” by Shutterstock

Music: “Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on FreeMusicArchive.org licensed under CC0 1.

“Ambient guitar X1 - Loop mode” by frankum, found on Freesound licensed under Attribution License.

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