: why does a heat wave in Europe kills people, while similar harsh temperatures in Africa doesn’t ?

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: why does a heat wave in Europe kills people, while similar harsh temperatures in Africa doesn’t ?

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I’m not sure that’s true. People of recent African ancestry are better-adapted to hot temperatures than are Europeans. But those adaptations are incredibly minor when compared to access to clean water, shelter, and air conditioning. I would think that harsh temperatures kill people in Africa all the time. If you really think there’s a disparity, then the first cause I would suspect is reporting bias – maybe you just hear more news from Europe.

The whole infrastructure inAfrica is built for high temperatures. People houses are built for heat , even small abodes . The way they travel also takes that into account.
Imagine being an old person in a city in W Europe with no AC ,no proper way of transportation . All asphalt around you .

Because the majority of africans have much lower life expancies so there arent any old people to die. It’s mostly the elderly who die in heat waves.

Much of it is simple that people aren’t used to it.

If you lived all your live in a place where it never gets that warm you don’t have any idea how to deal with such temperatures. What might seem common sense to one person isn’t necessarily so to somebody who has not had the chance to learn that stuff that might seem obvious to to others.

in addition to learned behaviour, there is also architecture.

A house might seem like any other house to you, but if you compare the architecture style of different regions you will see that people do build things differently from place to place. Building homes so they keep warmth inside in the winter is more of a priority than building them so they keep cold in the summer in places where cold winters are traditionally more of a problem than hot summers.

By the same token that buildings in more souther regions might not be able to deal as well with being covered in snow, buildings in more northerly regions aren’t built to be nice on the inside during heat waves. Flat roofs collapse when covers with tons of snow, but angled roofs mean the people living underneath them are cooked in the summer.

One big thing that might not seem obvious is that if you regularly have extreme temperatures, people (especially the old and weak) die all the time too. It is just that they don’t die in such large numbers and not all in one go. In more temperate regions there may be years and decades to amass a large number of people who will not survive high temperatures between heat waves.

Once heat waves like this become a more regular thing, the number of deaths will go down as everyone learns to adjust their behaviour, people start retrofitting homes with AC-units and new buildings are build with heat dissipation instead of retention in mind and the there won’t be large numbers of at risk people build up between heat waves.