Katestone’s Andrew Wiebe and Scott Losee shared ideas and experiences with the audience at the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) conference in Sydney (June 25-27). Andrew’s presentation, entitled “Improved climate-readiness of intensive livestock management through use of a Heat Load Index as an indicator of heat stress”, investigated the difference between a heat wave event and a heat load event with application to both cattle and humans.
“Media reports commonly focus on the forecast daily maximum temperature as the indicator of an upcoming heatwave. However, the important roles of high humidity, light winds and intense solar radiation in the generation of heat stress are not credited.”Andrew’s research (with help from Christine and Anthony) found that the current indicators used by humans to measure heat stress, such as the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), do not account for potentially important factors such as overnight recovery, acclimatisation, evaporative cooling and latent heat load. “The Australian feedlot industry are ready to tackle a changing climate but are we?”, Andrew said.