The study, the results of which were published in the journal “The Lancet Planet Health”, compared the mortality rates and infrastructure facilities of the people of the Northern Territory of Australia with those of the indigenous people to find the most effective method of combating heat.
In this context, scientists examined 32 thousand deaths due to extreme heat during the heat wave, which was above 35 degrees for at least 3 days, between 1980 and 2019.
Although Australian natives have limited access to air-conditioned environments, heat-related mortality rates are lower than those of their neighbours.
The researchers stated that the local people who work long hours in open areas have developed a tolerance to the hot weather of the region.
It was determined that the people who settled in the region later on, could be temporarily protected from the heat wave in an air-conditioned environment, but the death rates due to extreme heat were higher because their bodies did not allow their bodies to decrease their sensitivity to hot air.
It was stated that the behaviors of the locals in the region, such as avoiding working outdoors during the hottest part of the day, building self-cooling structures suitable for a semi-tropical climate, socializing in the cool hours of the day, and sleeping outdoors to benefit from the natural breeze, were not adapted by their neighbors.
Researchers emphasized that cooling systems are absolutely necessary in heat waves, but short-term exposure to hot air is an effective method that prepares human physiology for the climate in which it lives.