The Division of Medical Sciences of the National Research Council created a small committee of civilians to solve many of the climatic hazards confronting the military owing to the global aspects of World War II. According to the editor, this book attempts to describe the responses of the heat regulatory mechanism of man to the whole range of climatic conditions encountered on the earth's surface. It emphasizes the maximal capacity of the mechanism to preserve life under the most adverse conditions and establishes the limits of this capacity and shows how far the rigors of unfavorable environments can be mitigated by scientifically protective coverings.
The book is divided into two parts. The first, entitled “Human Response to the Climatic Environment,” includes chapters on such subjects as adaptations to climate among non-European peoples, thermometry, heat transfer, the regulation of body temperatures, physiological adjustments to heat and to cold, regional heat loss, the range of physiological response to climatic heat and cold, and the incidence of comfort.