The AtlanticThe Atlantic

We must learn to love our sweat

By Katherine J. Wu

08 Aug 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. As global temperatures rise due to climate change, humans are experiencing more heat and humidity, leading to increased sweating. July was the world's hottest month in recorded history, with ocean temperatures off the coast of Florida hitting triple digits and the asphalt in Arizona causing third-degree burns.

This summer, I, like so many other Americans, have forgotten what it means to be dry. The heat has grown so punishing, and the humidity so intense, that every movement sends my body into revolt. When I stand, I sweat. When I sit, I sweat. When I slice into a particularly dense head of cabbage, I sweat.

The way things are going, infinite moistness may be something many of us will have to get used to. This past July was the world’s hottest month in recorded history; off the coast of Florida, ocean temperatures hit triple digits, while in Arizona, the asphalt caused third-degree burns. As human-driven climate change continues to remodel the globe, heat waves are hitting harder, longer, and more frequently. The consequences of this crisis will, on a macroscopic scale, upend where and how humans can survive. It will also, in an everyday sense, make our lives very, very sweaty.

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