Thank goodness we’re not crocodiles. Otherwise, there might be a shortage of females at some point: Above 34 degrees Celsius, crocodile offspring become male. The whole thing is called temperature-dependent sex determination.
We humans have to struggle with other problems. Statistically, the number of “hot days” (highest temperature above 30 degrees Celsius) is slowly but steadily increasing, and this has consequences for health. According to Statista, there were about 47 percent more heat-related deaths in Germany in 2019 than in the period from 2000 to 2005, and one reason for this increase is more frequent periods of hot weather.
However, how can we prevent heat-related injuries? In many cases, we have to rely on the actions of others, because going to school or work is unavoidable even when temperatures are high. There is no such thing as “Hitzefrei” for employees, and even in schools it is given less and less often — not least because it contradicts the growing all-day care. At least the Occupational Safety and Health Act stipulates that an employer must take effective measures as soon as there is an air temperature in the room that exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. Above 35 degrees Celsius, the room is no longer suitable as working space. The same applies to schools, of course…
For the first time this year, on June 14, 2023, a nationwide heat action day initiated by the German Medical Association and KLUG (Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit e.V. — German Climate Change and Health Alliance) called attention to the need for precautionary measures for extreme heat events. Here, among other things, the focus was also on what active heat protection should now look like in concrete terms. A collection of heat training courses for various areas (for example, heat-related first aid) is available here: