Nonphysical Heat Effects

Beside the spatial-physical heat effects in the city - the heat island effect - heat also influences the productivity, behaviour, electricity demand and lifestyle (Drunen and Lasage, 2007).

The average labour productivity deceases during high temperatures. If the temperature rises slightly, simple tasks can be done more easily, but complex ones become more difficult. If people stay one hour or more in a temperature of 32°C physical tasks are conducted less well, while the quality of mental tasks decreases if people stay longer than 2 h in these temperature. And despite the fact that humans can get used to higher temperatures, the illness rate in the Netherlands during the heat wave in 2003 illustrates the impact: 11.5% against 3.4% normally.

If temperatures rise above 32°C, people who do not know each other dislike each other more than normally. This might lead to more aggression. It is expected that if temperatures rise more this aggression will decrease because the general laziness increases, but no research is available on this issue yet.

In order to supply energy the power plants are dependent on surface water temperature, because the plant drains its cooling water and this is problematic if temperatures rise above 23°C. The capacity to deliver electricity is under pressure and the consequences for the aquatic ecosystem increases seriously. If temperatures rise, the problems increase, while during heat waves the demand for cooling increases as well.

Life style changes with rising temperatures, because people will spend more time in the open air and parks and public spaces will be used more intensively. Because more people spend time outside the social interactions increase and the leisure possibilities do so as well.

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