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Record Breaking Heatwave Across the US

by | Jul 23, 2022 | Climate Crisis

A severe heatwave came upon the desert Southwest and parts of the Western United States on the 11th and 12th of June 2022. The recent heatwaves broke temperature records and prompted federal officials to issue excessive heat warnings to nearly 53 million citizens. Over 100 million citizens were advised to stay in their homes during the record-breaking heatwave across the US.

Heatwave Across the US

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The National Weather Service called the heat ‘oppressive’ and stated that areas across a large portion of the Southwest and the Rockies would likely experience critical fire weather conditions. The record-breaking heatwave across the US prompted cities to explore new ways to cope with the potentially lethal heat.

Over 25 major US cities broke the maximum heat record on the 12th of June 2022. Las Vegas, Nevada, hit a temperature not felt in Sin City since 1956 – 109 degrees Fahrenheit. California’s Death Valley hit 122 degrees, while Arizona and Phoenix hit 114 degrees- the warmest day there in over a century. Areas in the Midwest also faced extreme temperatures, with governmental officials running to provide cooling options for people.

Chicago has opened up cooling centers throughout the city as temperatures reached 100 degrees on the 14th of June. According to city officials, the government opened Chicago’s 75 public libraries to residents needing to cool down, as there were increasing concerns about a failure to protect people during extreme temperatures efficiently.

Triple-digit temperatures are now not uncommon in the US and are beginning to arrive earlier than expected and frequently in the summer due to climate change. According to climatic studies, these extreme temperatures remain the same even during the nights- which is another impact of global warming. People will now not get a break from the heat even at night.

Medical experts are now showing serious concerns about the prolonged heatwaves in recent decades as they will begin to cost people their lives. The future heat waves will take a deadly toll on public health. Extreme warm temperatures were already causing more deaths in America than in other disasters.

According to government analyses, extreme heat claims the lives of 1,300 Americans yearly. Another independent study stated that the real number of deaths related to heat is several times higher. Heat-related deaths are on the rise globally. It rose to 74 percent in 9 countries between 1980 and 2016.

The increasing health risks during the summer months due to extreme heat have prompted some scientists to give a new name to the season- Danger Season. Climate change is pushing several natural disasters, like the recent heatwave, into a new realm that will be much more deadly.

 

Author

  • The author has done a master's in Environmental science and is currently working as chief Environmental Advisor with New Delhi State Government.

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