Saturday, June 24, 2017

Southwest’s Deadly Heat Wave Previews Life in a Warming World

The extreme heat baking the Southwestern U.S. isn't finished yet. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning today for parts of Southern California and Arizona, including Phoenix, through Monday, saying temperatures are forecast to reach 108-118 degrees each day.

In its alert, the weather service warned of "a major increase in the potential for heat-related illness and even death.”

The week has provided a preview of the risks scientists warn are ahead as greenhouse gas emissions continue to raise global temperatures.

Thermometers in the Phoenix area edged up to around 120 degrees for three straight days this week, flights were grounded as the rising temperatures decreased the air density, and the city's main burn treatment center saw twice its usual number of patients with burns caused by walking barefoot on hot pavement or getting into cars that had been heating up in the sun. 

Several heat-related deaths were reported in the Las Vegas area and in California.

Read Phil McKenna’s story on Inside Climate News - “Southwest’s Deadly Heat Wave Previews Life in a Warming World.”

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