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Old July 24th 18, 02:32 PM posted to
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Default The disturbing reason heat waves can kill people in cooler climates

The disturbing reason heat waves can kill people in cooler climates

Full story:

It’s not a record-high temperature that necessarily makes a heat wave
dangerous. It’s whether you can cool off.

Already this summer, nine all-time temperature records have been broken
and 10 records have tied in the United States. One of them was Chino,
California, near Los Angeles, which hit a blistering 120 degrees
Fahrenheit on July 6.

Overall, 2018 is on track to be the fourth-warmest year on record. And
many other countries are suffering from the heat too. A village in Oman
saw temperatures linger above 108°F for 51 hours straight, which likely
broke the world record for highest minimum temperature ever. On Monday,
it reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Kumagaya, Japan, the highest-ever
recorded temperature in the country.

..... more .....

Temperatures don’t have to reach extremes before turning deadly

As I’ve written about before, scientists have figured out that when it
comes to health risks from high temperatures, the key factor to pay
attention to is the deviation from the norm.

A 105°F day in Phoenix may barely register for Arizona residents, but
90°F weather in Portland, Oregon, could send people to the hospital.

Heat waves are often most pronounced in dense, urban areas. Asphalt,
concrete, steel, and glass soak up the summer weather and create a heat
island, which can make a city upward of 22°F warmer than its
surroundings. And the climate itself is becoming more erratic, with
parts of the world seeing major temperature swings over the course of a
few days, making it harder for people to adjust.

The World Meteorological Organization says that heat-related deaths and
illnesses have risen steadily since 1980, and now 30 percent of the
world’s population lives in regions vulnerable to heat waves. With
climate change exacerbating heat waves, we need to prepare for more
deadly heat across the US and around the world.

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