Extreme Heat

Extreme Heat



Global risk of deadly heat

Climate change can increase the risk of conditions that exceed human thermoregulatory capacity.

Planting healthy air: Trees, particulate matter pollution and extreme heat

This study from the Nature Conservancy reviews the positive cooling effects of urban trees planting on hot city climates and the quality of their air.


Why Extreme Heat Is So Bad for the Human Body

By Tara Law   08/02/22  
Blistering temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable. They can quickly escalate to become life-threatening: According to data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers, more than 700 people nationwide died from heat-related causes annually from…

A 3-part plan to take on extreme heat waves

By Elini Myrivili   07/25/22  
The deadliest severe weather phenomenon is something you might not realize: extreme heat. Eleni Myrivili, chief heat officer of the city of Athens, Greece, explains that extreme heat and heat waves are often overlooked because…

Brutal heat from Phoenix to Boston triggers alerts for 100 million

By Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow   07/22/22  
More than 100 million people in the Lower 48 states are under heat alerts on Thursday amid relentlessly sweltering temperatures that have soared as high as 115 degrees in recent days.

The Increasing Death Toll in the U.S. From Extreme Heat

By Sameed Khatana   07/20/22  
Last summer, in the Pacific Northwest, record temperatures melted power cables and buckled roads. Seattle reached a record high of 108 degrees and millions of area residents struggled under the weight of unprecedented heat. Just…

Blistering heat bakes the Plains with highs up to 115 degrees

By Matthew Cappucci   07/19/22  
As historic temperatures bake Europe, with readings as high as 115 degrees in Portugal, it’s been just as scorchingly hot stateside. Sixty million Americans could experience triple-digit temperatures over the next several days, with the…

Heat waves are getting hotter and more frequent. Here’s how to prepare.

By Allyson Chiu   07/19/22  
Amid a historically hot summer, swaths of the United States and Europe are baking. Already scorching temperatures are continuing to climb in some areas, prompting widespread public safety concerns about the extreme heat, which, experts…

National TV networks mention climate change in 32% of segments on global extreme heat

By Ted Macdonald   07/19/22  
Punishing extreme heat is affecting countries all across the globe this week. Extreme “red” heat warnings were issued in the United Kingdom for the first time, and Wales recorded its highest-ever temperature. At least 1,100…

Heat Waves and Climate Change

Across the globe, hot days are getting hotter and more frequent, while we’re experiencing fewer cold days. Over the past decade, daily record high temperatures have occurred twice as often as record lows across the…

These maps show how excessively hot it is in Europe and the U.S.

By Matthew Cappucci   07/18/22  
A historic and deadly heat wave has been scorching western Europe, killing hundreds in Spain and Portugal. Temperatures spiked to 115 degrees on the Iberian Peninsula amid bone-dry conditions, fueling wildfires and displacing thousands of…

Explainer: The health risks of extreme heat

By Jennifer Rigby   07/18/22  
The more serious version is heatstroke, when the body's core temperature goes above 40.6 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a medical emergency and can lead to long-term organ damage and death. Symptoms include…

Extreme Heat, Driven By Climate Change, Threatens Postal Workers

Extreme heat, driven by climate change, is setting records across the globe. Combinations of high heat and humidity in the American South and Southwest continued this week and was expected to move north and east…

70 million Americans are under heat warnings or advisories.

By Isabella Grullon Paz   07/06/22  
Temperatures across the middle of the United States were called “oppressive” by the National Weather Service on Thursday, as cities throughout the region dealt with a spike in heat-related health emergencies and tried to offer…

What Is a Heat Dome?

By William Gallus   07/06/22  
A heat dome occurs when a persistent region of high pressure traps heat over an area. The heat dome can stretch over several states and linger for days to weeks, leaving the people, crops and…

Unhoused People Especially Vulnerable To Heat

Unhoused people in Phoenix are struggling to survive extreme heat as climate change pushes temperatures higher and police harassment makes it harder to find a place to sleep, the AP reports. Heat contributes to about…

Extreme heat in the U.S. linked to an increased number of deaths

After reviewing data from millions of adults between May-September of 2008-2017, researchers found that each additional day of extreme summer heat was linked to an additional .07 death for every 100,000 adults. In other words,…

What Extreme Heat Does to the Human Body

By Aryn Baker   06/13/22  
For the third weekend in a row, large swaths of the United States have wilted under early-season heatwaves that have set high temperature records from California to Texas. Nearly 100 million Americans are facing heat…

April sets record for highest CO2 levels in human history

By Andrew Freedman   05/05/22  
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest levels on record for any calendar month during April, averaging 420 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since observations began in 1958, according…

Record heat in India and Pakistan is a wake-up call

By Julia Kane   05/04/22  
A record-shattering heat wave is devastating parts of India and Pakistan, putting more than a billion people at risk and unleashing a surge of related problems. For decades, experts have warned that climate change would…

The world’s forests do more than just store carbon, new research finds

By Nina Lakhani   03/24/22  
The world’s forests play a far greater and more complex role in tackling climate crisis than previously thought, due to their physical effects on global and local temperatures, according to new research...

Effort to Reframe Climate Change as a Health Crisis Gains Steam

By Winston Choi- Schagrin   11/04/21  
For the first time at a major United Nations climate conference, human health is emerging as a leading issue, a reframing that brings climate change’s far-reaching and long-lasting effects to the forefront.

More Than a Third of Heat Deaths Are Tied to Climate Change, Study Says

By John Schwartz   11/04/21  
More than a third of heat-related deaths in many parts of the world can be attributed to the extra warming associated with climate change, according to a new study that makes a case for taking…

Brazil study shows climate change’s deadly impact on kidneys

By Robert Preidt   11/01/21  
For the study, researchers analyzed data from hospitals in more than 1,800 cities in Brazil between 2000 and 2015, and found that just over 7% of all admissions for kidney disease could be attributed to…

PCPs face mounting responsibility to address health effects of climate change

By Maria Marabito   10/29/21  
Human influence has had an unequivocal impact on Earth’s climate, causing significant changes that threaten people’s security and physical and mental health, according to a landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Global heating ‘may lead to epidemic of kidney disease’

By Natalie Grover   10/21/21  
Chronic kidney disease linked to heat stress could become a major health epidemic for millions of workers around the world as global temperatures increase over the coming decades, doctors have warned.

Viewing climate change as a human health problem

By Alvin Powell   10/21/21  
The medical journal The Lancet released its annual “Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change” and a companion brief focused on conditions in the United States. The brief urges action to curb…

Inaction on climate change imperils millions of lives, doctors say

By Sarah Kaplan   10/20/21  
Climate change is set to become the “defining narrative of human health,” a top medical journal warned Wednesday — triggering food shortages, deadly disasters and disease outbreaks that would dwarf the toll of the coronavirus.…

Risk of Dangerous Heat Exposure Is Growing Quickly in Cities

By Andrea Thompson   10/14/21  
Cities are famously sweltering places during heat waves, with pavement and buildings radiating heat back into the air and elevating temperatures compared to nearby rural areas. Add in global warming and an increasingly urban population,…

Climate Change Could Bring Rising Obesity Rates

By Robert Preidt   10/14/21  
You can add obesity and its related health risks to the long list of threats posed by climate change, researchers report.

The L.A. Times investigation into extreme heat’s deadly toll

Extreme heat is one of the deadliest consequences of global warming. But in a state that prides itself as a climate leader, California chronically undercounts the death toll and has failed to address the growing…

Extreme heat is one of the deadliest consequences of climate change.

By Anna M. Phillips, Tony Barboza, Ruben Vives and Sean Greene   10/07/21  
For more than three weeks in 2020, back-to-back heat waves settled over the Southwest, claiming dozens of lives and leaving tens of millions of people sweltering in triple-digit temperatures. The days brought suffering and the…

Urban Heat Exposure Has Tripled

Extreme heat exposure suffered by the world’s urban population tripled from 1983-2016, driven largely by climate change, a study published Monday in PNAS revealed. Researchers measured the number of person-days cities reached a wet-bulb temperature…

Climate Change Is The Greatest Threat To Public Health, Top Medical Journals Warn

By Lauren Sommer   09/07/21  
The rapidly warming climate is the "greatest threat" to global public health, more than 200 medical journals are warning in an unprecedented joint statement that urges world leaders to cut heat-trapping emissions to avoid "catastrophic…

Beyond human endurance

By Ruby Mellen and William Neff   07/28/21  
When it comes to heat, the human body is remarkably resilient — it’s the humidity that makes it harder to cool down. And humidity, driven in part by climate change, is increasing. A measurement of…

Why Extreme Heat Is So Deadly

By Tanya Lewis   07/22/21  
In June a massive “heat dome” smothered the famously temperate Pacific Northwest, subjecting parts of Washington State, Oregon and western Canada to blistering and unprecedented temperatures. Lytton, British Columbia, set an all-time Canadian record with…

Biden administration, workers grapple with health threats posed by climate change and heat

By Eli Rosenberg and Abha Bhattarai   07/19/21  
Surging temperatures across the West Coast this summer are exposing another way that the changing climate threatens the country’s future: the danger it poses to workers, particularly those who work outside and in warehouses. The…

Authorities investigate hundreds of deaths linked to torrid Pacific Northwest weather

By Elinor Aspegren   06/30/21  
Authorities from Oregon to British Columbia are investigating hundreds of deaths in connection to the historic heat wave in the Pacific Northwest corridor.

Ninety degree days occurring earlier and more often. A rising toll of health effects. What does this say about climate change?

By Sabrina Shankman   06/07/21  
In Boston, there are now twice as many nights when temperatures don’t drop below 70 degrees. In Milton, the earliest 90-degree day now falls two weeks earlier than the historical average. And in both places,…

‘Wake-up call:’ Climate change could edge Earth’s annual temperature past Paris agreement limits in 5 years

By Doyle Rice   05/27/21  
The odds of the planet continuing to warm over the next several years have increased, top meteorologists said Thursday in a new report. In fact, within the next five years, there's now a 40% chance…

An unexpected side effect of climate change? More stillbirths

By Matthew Rozsa   05/25/21  
Climate change is perhaps the greatest existential threat that humanity has ever faced — and as environmental research accumulates, we keep discovering unexpected side effects of making industrial civilization reliant on fossil fuels. The latest…

Heat and Humidity Are Already Reaching the Limits of Human Tolerance

By Andrea Thompson   05/08/20  
Over the hundreds of thousands of years of our existence on the planet, modern humans have managed to adapt to a huge range of climates—from the arid heat of the Sahara Desert to the icy…

Beyond Environmental Change: How Climate Change Affects Public Health

By Christina Ospina   06/04/18  
The environmental effects of climate change are well documented. The public is increasingly aware of physical changes – sea level rise, droughts and heat waves, changes in precipitation, and so on – but what about…

Deadly Heat Waves Threaten Third of the World

By Megan Trimble   06/20/17  
Scorching heat grounded planes in parts of the U.S. on Monday, the same day researchers released a study that finds the globe is only getting hotter and, as a result, potentially deadlier. Currently, nearly a…

Attributing human mortality during extreme heat waves to anthropogenic climate change

By Daniel Mitchell , Claire Heaviside & Others   07/08/16  
It has been argued that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. The extreme high temperatures of the summer of 2003 were associated with up to seventy thousand excess deaths…

Without swift action on climate change, heat waves could kill thousands in U.S. cities

By Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky   06/16/19  
If global warming sometimes seems like a distant or abstract threat, new research casts the phenomenon in stark, life-or-death terms. It predicts that in the absence of significant progress in efforts to curb emissions of…

This is how climate change takes a toll on the heart

By Sarah DeWeerdt   03/19/19  
Doctors know that cold temperatures can trigger heart attacks. But the effect of hot weather on heart attack risk has been more difficult to establish. Now, a team of German researchers has found evidence that…

Study sees dramatic rise in heatwave deaths by 2080

By Reuters Staff   07/31/18  
The number of people dying from heatwaves is likely to rise sharply in some regions by 2080 if policymakers fail to take mitigating steps in climate and health policies, according to the results of a…