Heat Waves in the Age of Climate Change: Longer, More Frequent and More Dangerous – The New York Times

Story here

(possible paywall)

I was writing about this yesterday so today comes the Times with a story liberally quoting Dr. Michael Mann. There’s really nothing much for me to add, so in case you can’t read this due to paywall, I’ll take Dr. Mann’s quotes out of the story.

So you know, a warming of 1 degree Celsius, which is what we’ve seen thus far, can lead to a 10-fold increase in the frequency of 100 degree days in New York City for example.

We’re warming up the Arctic faster than the rest of the northern hemisphere. So that’s decreasing that temperature contrast from the subtropics to the pole, and it’s that temperature contrast that drives the jet stream in the first place.

That’s when you get these record breaking weather events; either the unprecedented heat wave and drought, to wildfires and floods

Now further are quotes by Eric Klinenberg, the director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He found that during the 1995 Chicago heat wave that killed more than 700 people, the death tolls were highest in places that were not just poor and segregated, but what he calls “institutionally depleted.”

In a heat wave and many climate events, it’s social isolation that proves to be truly dangerous. If you’re home and alone in a heat wave when you’re old and frail you’re more likely to die if you don’t have air conditioning.

So one thing we can do today: check on your elderly neighbors, breathi ng difficulties or other conditions affected by the heat.

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