I do a lot of reading about history, but it suddenly occured to me today that I don’t remember ever reading about a killer heat wave that happened centuries ago. For the sake of my question, let’s say from 1500 onward, when many countries were documenting their environments. (Royal court records, letters, some diaries, first hand accounts of plagues, etc.).
If heatwaves didn’t kill people back then the way they do today, why? There were crowded urban centers at that time, too. Water was more scarce. There wasn’t as much medical attention paid to heat exhaustion.Instead of people dropping like flies in the fields, the main killer during hot times seems to be the plague. Ever sensitive to large outbreaks of illness which might signal another plauge, wouldn’t they have noted that during this heatwave lots of people died?
Has climate change has made intense heat more common? Has the climate really changed that much? I know that Europe went through a “little ice age” in the 1500s-1600s, but what about China or Japan?
Were the people who lived hundreds of years ago were somehow “used to it?” Has air conditioning spoiled us? I’ve noticed that people who live in uncomfortable climates (like the rainforest) seem to adapt to them to the point where they don’t seem effected by what would knock the rest of us down.
So, anybody got the Dope?