Heat events and health burden in the tropics under the global warming

About this project

Project description

Heat events are one of the direct impacts of climate change impacting public health are increasing at an alarming rate under the global warming. Physiological response to heat events depends not only on temperature, but also on humidity, wind, and radiation, and on the clothing pattern and working condition of the person exposed to heat. Therefore, the mortality and morbidity burden of heat events vary across the tropics depending on the local and socio-demographic conditions. Most current knowledge on heat waves and heat wave warnings are derived from data in temperate zones.

We plan to model heat exchange between human body and the surrounding environment and how that is influenced by climatic factors. This will enable to understand the potential benefits of various intervention. We will examine health and climate data from India and Australia to develop heat mortality model. Further we expect to project the health burden attributable to heat events under various climate change scenarios for the two countries.

A range of questions will be asked around the different heat type in the tropics/subtropics. Smaller diurnal shifts, longer strings of days in the 98th percentile, high night-time temperatures and high humidity have been flagged as potential pathways that the heat-health nexus differs from the temperate zones. These initial studies will use extant data from Bureau of Meteorology and Health Services. This will follow on from conclusions in recent UQ paper Impact of low-intensity heat events on mortality and morbidity in regions with hot, humid summers: a scoping literature review.


  1. A better way to estimate health burden attributable to heat events.
  2. Examine how the burden changes in time and space under the global warming.
  3. Compare the Indian and Australian environments and public health burden due to heat exposure.
  4. Design heat wave warnings for use in tropical/subtropical conditions.it can be a proprietary product.

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Experience in data analysis in Matlab and/or R and/or Python.

Desireable capabilities

background in this field with essential experience and prior work experience in environmental data and/or environmental health. Experience working with large health data sets and/or epidemiological studies is highly desirable.

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

BHSc, MPH, M.Tech/M.Sc./BTech (with GATE/NET/DST-INSPIRE) in a relevant discipline (atmospheric science, epidemiology, biotechnology, bioscience, environmental science, public health, statistics and/or biostatistics).

Candidate Discipline

climate change environment change heat events health burden.

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Associate professor Nicholas Osborne

School of Public Health
IITD Supervisor

Professor Sagnik Dey

Centre for Atmospheric Sciences
Additional Supervisor

Dr Darsy Darssan

School of Public Health