Ana Raquel Nunes: ‘Extreme weather reveals the fragility of people and places’

Ana Raquel Nunes: ‘Extreme weather reveals the fragility of people and places’

The environmental social scientist and expert on the impact of heatwaves on why we must prepare for dangerous heat

Ana Raquel Nunes is a senior research fellow at Warwick medical school who studies the links between global heating and human health. She has leant her expertise to the World Health Organization, the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the International Science Council and more. Her interest in extreme weather was prompted by a family holiday in the Algarve during the European heatwave of 2003, in which tens of thousands of people died. This year has seen record temperatures, forest fires, melting glaciers and crumbling infrastructure.

We know that heatwaves are becoming more frequent, more intense and more prolonged both in terms of temperature and humidity. What can we expect?
The heatwave of 2003 was really, really bad. I was young and struggled to cope with the heat. I felt very hot, thirsty and tired. My mother and grandma struggled even more. People were getting ill, being hospitalised. The vulnerable were dying.

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