Twenty-Seven Ways to Die from Wetbulb 35 C (95 F) Temperatures on the Pakistan-India Border
Courtesy of PAUL BECKWITH
Since our average human core body temperature is 37 C (98.6 F) (with some variation) and our skin temperature is a few degrees C cooler than this, a wetbulb temperature of 35 C (95 F) is the limit for human shedding of heat and thus survival. This is true for other mammal species as well, dependent on their specific core body temperatures. How do we die with these conditions, even the very healthiest among us? It turns out there are 7 major organs that can crap out, each essentially by 5 different mechanisms. Luckily, some of these 7×5 combinations are not possible, so there are only 27 different ways to die; not 35:)
Analyzing data from the Meteologix website for India suggests that present extremely hot temperatures combined with high humidities exceed the 35 C (95F) wetbulb temperature threshold of human survivability (even sitting naked in the shade, in a gale, covered in sweat, your survive 6-8 hours at most). It doesn’t matter how healthy, fit, and strong you are; the physics is fatal. Luckily, the worst conditions seen on the Pakistan-India border (mostly in Pakistan) are for a few hours, and not the full day, but death rates in this region must be huge (and are currently unreported).