Development of a Computer Model of Human Heat Stress with Implications for Global Warming

Open Access
Author:
Foley, Samuel Lincoln
Area of Honors:
Physics
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Milton Walter Cole, Thesis Supervisor
  • Richard Wallace Robinett, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Thermoregulation
  • Global Warming
  • heat stress
  • stress
  • sweat
  • wet-bulb
Abstract:
Rising temperatures around the globe pose a threat to human life in many hot locations. Previous work on this subject by Sherwood and Huber uses very rudimentary approximations to determine what conditions are life-threatening. Many environmental interactions, such as sunlight and thermal radiation, were ignored. This work attempts to develop a more complete model of human heat regulation based on physical principles for the purpose of evaluating the severity of heat stresses under given environmental conditions. A computer model is developed and compared with the results from previous work, and differences are noted. In particular, the wet-bulb temperature required to reach lethal body temperatures is found to be lower than previously implied.