Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • NEWS

Extreme heat harms health — what is the human body’s limit?

A person drinks a bottle of water in a vast homeless encampment in Phoenix, Arizona during a record heat wave.

People have struggled to keep cool during intense heatwaves in this year’s Northern Hemisphere summer. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


Additional reporting by Layal Liverpool.


  1. Venugopal, V., Shanmugam, R. & Kamalakkannan, L. P. Environ. Res. Lett. 16, 085008 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Burke, M. et al. Nature Clim. Change 8, 723–729 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Sherwood, S. C. & Huber, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci USA 107, 9552–9555 (2010).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Raymond, C., Matthews, T. & Horton, R. M. Sci. Adv. 6, eaaw1838 (2020).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


Latest on:

Nature Careers


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links