Research on Extreme Heat

Extreme heat is deadly, on the rise globally, and its toll can be reduced. Heatwaves are amongst the deadliest disasters and they are getting stronger and more frequent.  The last 20 years have seen a 54 percent increase in heat-related deaths in older people. Heatwave impacts are felt most acutely in urban areas where two-thirds of the world’s people will live by 2050. Chronic exposure to extreme heat in the form of seasonal and year-round extreme heat, especially in tropical regions, has far-reaching impacts on health, productivity, and economic outcomes. 

Despite the growing adverse impacts, there is a lack of global awareness, risk analysis, and action to combat heat risks. The Global Disaster Preparedness Center of the American Red Cross, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN), launched this research grant program, which aims to increase knowledge on heatwaves and their impact on people, especially in low and middle-income countries.

More on research objectives, topics, and eligibility criteria here.

Heat toolkit and resources

Find heat-related resources, tools, case studies, and campaign materials here.

Meet the researchers and read final reports of their research

Watch webinar recordings here

Topic 1: Identification of local heat thresholds and triggers.

Dr. Bethwel Mutai is from Kenya currently working as a lecturer at the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Nairobi. Dr. Mutai has experience in the fields of physical and environmental meteorology, specifically on the linkage between weather, climate, climate change, air pollution and human health. His research focuses on temporal distribution of heatwave events and its concomitant effect of human health in Nairobi, Tana River, and Turkana counties in Kenya. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. Dragan Milošević is from Serbia and currently working as Assistant Professor at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management. Dr. Milosevic works in the fields of human biometeorology, outdoor thermal comfort, heat stress, and climate modelling in urban areas. His research focuses on identifying the local heat thresholds and triggers in Serbia with a detailed analysis of mortality and hospitalisation in Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia. Read more and download the research report.

Joyce Kimutai is from Kenya, currently working as the Principal Meteorologist at the Kenya Meteorological Department and doing her PhD in Environmental and Geographical Science: Attribution of Climate Extremes, University of Cape Town. She works in the field of understanding and quantifying changes in weather and climate. Her research focuses on identifying local heat thresholds and triggers in Kenya’s three major cities,  Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. Read more and download the research report.

Tran Nu Quy Linh is from Vietnam, currently working at Ha Tinh Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Vietnam and a PhD student at the Centre for Environment and Population Health, Griffith University, Australia. She has experience in the fields of climate change, extreme weather events and their impacts on human health. Her research focuses on assessing the number of hospital admission cases attributed to each degree above the temperature thresholds in different ecological regions in Vietnam. Read more and download the research report.

Topic 2: Analysis of public perceptions towards heat.

Anjali Joshi is from Nepal,  currently working at Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Dhulikhel, Nepal. Anjali is keen on improving public health research in relation to climate change and environmental issues. Her research focuses on identifying heat risk perception of outdoor workers such as farmers, rickshaw drivers/pullers, street vendors, and traffic police in eight districts in the Terai and hilly regions of Nepal. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. Edgar Miguel López Álvarez is from Guatemala, currently the Dean of the Health Sciences School of University Rafael landívar in Guatemala City. As a physician, public health expert, and researcher, Dr. Alvarez is keenly aware of the impact of climate change on human health. His research focuses on identifying heat risk perception of two communities in the department of Zacapa, located within the Corredor Seco in Guatemala. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. Efi Yuliati Yovi is from Indonesia, currently working as an associate professor at the Faculty of Forestry and Environment at IPB University.  Dr. Yovi has worked in the field of physical ergonomics, risk perception, and climate and safety policies. Her research focuses on identifying heat risk perception of agricultural workers and enabling conditions for effective heat-risk communication strategies in Indonesia. Read more and download the research report.


Hakimu Sseviiri is from Uganda, currently a PhD candidate in Geography and working as a researcher at the Urban Action Lab and the Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations of the Makerere University in Kampala. Sseviiri has extensive experience in the fields of spatial planning, humanitarian crises, urban resilience, and climate change adaptation. His research focuses on identifying heat risk perception of and communication strategies for the residents of the Nkere and Bwaise informal settlements of Makindye and Kawempe Divisions in Kampala. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. Patience Chadambuka is from Zimbabwe, currently Lecturer in the Community Studies Department at the Midlands State University. Dr. Chadambuka has taught Environmental Sociology with a keen interest in climate change adaptation and mitigation, including in their gendered dimensions. Her research focuses on identifying perceptions of climate induced heat among vulnerable population in Zimbabwe’s heatwave prone Beitbridge district. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. PK Latha is from India, currently working as a Research Associate at Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research. She has experience in climate change, thermal comfort, and occupational heat stress. Her study has been expanded to include evidence that long-term, cost-effective cooling solutions can lessen the impact of heat on employees' health while also lowering energy demand. Her research focuses on identifying heat risk perception of outdoor workers in and outer areas of the city of Chennai. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. Rajashree S. Kotharkar is from India, currently working as a professor at the Department of Architecture and Planning, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in Nagpur. Dr. Kotharkar has worked extensively in the field of urban heat island and extreme heat. Her research focuses on identifying heat risk perception of informal workers in the city of Nagpur, and possible measures to improve the response to extreme heat risk in urban context. Read more and download the research report.

Dr. Shamsu-Deen Ziblim is from Ghana currently working as Associate Professor in the Department of Population and Reproductive Health, School of  Public  Health,  University  for Development  Studies. Dr. Ziblim has extensive research experience in population, environment, and health dynamics in Ghana. His research focuses on assessing public perceptions of the health and social risk of extreme heat in northern Ghana to inform the design of future interventions to increase community resilience. Read more and download the research report.

Topic 3: Identification of strategies to influence policy and action towards risks of extreme heat

Farzana Yeasmin is from Bangladesh, currently on leave from her role as Assistant Scientist in the at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research of Bangladesh and doing her PhD in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Griffith University, Australia. She has done extensive qualitative research on ready-made garment industry. Her research focuses on understanding how extreme heat stress impacts working conditions and productivity of the RMG workers and how they cope or respond in Dhaka. Read more and download the research report.

Niti Mishra is from India and currently working as Assistant Professor at the Center for Disaster Management, Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. She has completed her M.Phil in disaster studies and experience in field of disaster recovery, disaster risk reduction, urban disaster governance and disaster recovery in disaster management. Her research focuses on identifying differential impact of extreme heat on the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in urban and rural areas of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in India. Read more and download the research report.

Timothy Chambers is from South Africa and currently a M.S. student in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science and Atmospheric science at the University of Cape Town.  He has a keen interest in forecasting and modelling for climate change and sustainable development. His research focuses on identifying temperature differences across 12 cities in South Africa, using high-resolution thermal maps and Landsat imagery. Read more and download the research report.

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