Extreme Heat

Extreme Heat



After Another Year of Record-Breaking Heat, a Heightened Focus on Public Health

By Victoria St. Martin 01/31/24
Then there was stifling heat, which made everything seem to be moving in slow motion.
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Scientists Are Already Bracing for Record-Breaking Heat in 2024

By Zahra Hirji, Olivia Rudgard, and Brian Kahn 01/09/24
This year will be hot. Very hot. So hot that some experts are already predicting it may beat 2023 as the hottest year in recorded history. Climate change is, of course, primarily responsible. Burning fossil…
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Extreme heat far outpaced cold in U.S. during record-warm 2023

By Ian Livingston 12/29/23
The year 2023 — which is set to become the Earth’s hottest on record — featured a disproportionate amount of extremely warm weather in the United States.
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Heat-related heart deaths projected to increase in the US, especially among seniors and Black adults

By Deidre McPhillips 10/30/23
Extreme heat can take a heavy toll on the heart, and a new report shows how much more deadly the effects of climate change may become over the next few decades in the United States.…
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Arizona’s Maricopa County has a new record for heat-associated deaths after the hottest summer

Arizona’s Maricopa County set a new record Thursday for annual heat-associated deaths, with 425 tallied so far this year, the same number confirmed for all of 2022.
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These are the places that could become ‘unlivable’ as the Earth warms

By Scott Dance 10/09/23
Heat waves can already be deadly for the most vulnerable people — but in a warming world, temperatures and humidity will, for growing stretches of every year, surpass a threshold that even young and healthy…
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U.S. Heat Deaths Will Soar as the Climate Crisis Worsens

By Meghan Bartels 09/28/23
As the climate crisis continues, the U.S. will see heat-related deaths multiply, according to research that scientists say is a sobering reminder of the importance of adapting to rising temperatures and reining in planet-warming pollution.…
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Creating a heat standard for vulnerable farmworkers could take years

By Eva Tesfaye 09/06/23
Farmworkers are particularly vulnerable to the extreme heat that's affected so many areas of the country including the Midwest. The push for a federal heatprotection policy is slow.
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Pakistan bears the brunt of global extreme heat illness and mortality

By Annie Gowen, Niko Kommenda and Saiyna Bashir 09/05/23
Climate-fueled disease — tied to heat, pathogens and toxins — is an emerging, lethal threat that countries are ill-prepared to confront. The Post visited ground zero for this new era, Pakistan, to see what the…
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Workers exposed to extreme heat have no consistent protection in the US

By Gabe Stern 08/28/23
Santos Brizuela spent more than two decades laboring outdoors, persisting despite a bout of heatstroke while cutting sugarcane in Mexico and chronic laryngitis from repeated exposure to the hot sun while on various other jobs.
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Risk of heat-related deaths has ‘increased rapidly’ over past 20 years

By Ayesha Tandon 08/24/23
Spikes in temperature-related deaths during extreme summer heatwaves “will eventually become commonplace” if societies do not adapt to the dangerous impacts of extreme heat, new research finds. The paper, published in Nature Communications, assesses the…
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Chronic Kidney Disease Is Poised to Become the Black Lung of Climate Change

By Aryn Baker 08/09/23
It’s official. July was the world's hottest month on record, scientists from the European climate monitoring agency confirmed on Aug. 8, a full 1.5°C (2.7°F) warmer than pre-industrial averages, offering a potent taste of what…
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Reporting on Extreme Heat and Health

Media representations of heatwaves and climate change play an important role in how the public thinks about, perceives, prepares for and acts on risks to their health, and how decision and policy makers address the…

National Weather Service – Heat

A look at weather fatality statistics (image below) reveals excessive heat is the leading weather related killer in the United States. This is especially true in the urban centers, where population density, the urban heat…

Heat & Health Tracker

Extreme heat events have long threatened public health in the United States. The CDC Heat & Health Tracker provides local heat and health information so communities can better prepare for and respond to extreme heat…

The Heat Tracker

Extreme heat is the deadliest weather phenomenon in the United States. It's also one of the easiest to underestimate: We feel it on our skin, or perhaps see it shimmering in the air around us,…

How to Stay Cool and Safe in a Heat Wave

Extreme heat is becoming increasingly common across the globe, with longer, more frequent heat waves. These rising temperatures can put many at risk for heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Read on for…

What Extreme Heat Does to the Human Body

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…

What extreme heat does to the human body

Deadly heat waves have swept the globe and will continue to because of climate change.

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.


White House to unveil a system for tracking heat-related illnesses nationwide

By Monica Alba and Peter Nicholas   08/09/23  
The Biden administration plans to announce on Wednesday a new federal system to track heat-related illness nationwide and is considering additional measures amid pressure to do more to help Americans deal with crippling summer heat,…
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What Extreme Heat Does to Your Body

By Dana Smith   08/09/23  
HEAT IS THE LEADING CAUSE of weather-related deaths in the United States. While the human body is able to withstand high temperatures, unprecedented extreme heat driven by climate change is challenging our ability to adapt.…
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Extreme heat is the deadliest natural disaster. FEMA can’t treat it like one

By Ella Nilsen   08/08/23  
Extreme heat is far deadlier than other natural disasters, killing on average more than twice as many people each year as hurricanes and tornadoes combined, according to data tracked by the National Weather Service.
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‘Death Star’ law will end water breaks for Texas workers

By Ariel Wittenberg   08/04/23  
Water breaks will no longer be guaranteed for construction workers in Austin and Dallas when a new state law that prevents municipalities from regulating everything from evictions to payday loans takes effect next month. Signed…
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Extreme Heat Is Endangering America’s Workers—and Its Economy

By Aryn Baker   08/03/23  
Just after dawn on a recent July day in Rochelle, Ga., Silvia Moreno Ayala steps into a pair of sturdy work pants, slips on a long-sleeved shirt, and slathers her face and hands with sunscreen.…
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Extreme Global Heat and the Impact of Climate Change on the Planet

By Garrett Bohlmann   08/01/23  
The month of July 2023 has shattered multiple temperature records with many climate scientists expecting it to be the world's hottest month on record and possibly the warmest in 120,000 years.
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Extreme heat is threatening virtually every aspect of human health

By Leana S. Wen   08/01/23  
Extreme heat has blanketed much of the world this summer. The World Meteorological Organization reports that July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. The frequency of heat waves has been steadily increasing in…
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‘Silent killer’: experts warn of record US deaths from extreme heat

By Oliver Milman   08/01/23  
The punishing heatwaves that have scorched much of the US could result in a record number of heat-related deaths this year, experts have warned, amid a spike in hospitalizations from collapsing workers. Among those needing…
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Extreme heat and pollution can double the risk of a fatal heart attack

By Marlene Cimons   07/27/23  
Exposure to extreme temperatures combined with suffocating air pollution can double the risk of dying from a heart attack, according to Chinese researchers who analyzed more than 200,000 cardiac deaths in China between 2015 and…
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With climate change, health care providers should be more mindful of heat-related illness, doctors say

By Jen Christensen, CNN   07/27/23  
Hospitals typically have a system in place to get care quickly to patients who need it most. Alerts may be issued to get prepared for patients that EMT’s are bringing in with strokes, cardiac problems,…
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‘Heat health emergency’: Nearly half the US at risk as dangerous heat expands and intensifies in the Northeast

By Aya Elamroussi and Eric Zerkel   07/27/23  
Heat is intensifying for millions of people in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic Thursday, creating a “heat health emergency” as nearly half of the country bakes in dangerously high temperatures. Around 150 million people from coast…
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Heat Waves and Cold Snaps Linked to More Fatal Heart Attacks, Study Finds

By Ed Cara   07/25/23  
The global rise in extreme weather is likely to bring along more fatal heart attacks, new research this week suggests. The study found that exposure to heat waves and cold snaps was associated with higher…
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The world needs a new way to talk about heat

By Michael J. Coren   07/25/23  
Earlier this summer, officials from the U.N. weather agency admitted they’re still figuring out how to tell 8 billion people around the world what constitutes deadly heat.
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Extreme heat is particularly hard on older adults – an aging population and climate change put ever more people at risk

By Deborah Carr, Giacomo Falchetta and Ian Sue Wing   07/25/23  
Scorching temperatures have put millions of Americans in danger this summer, with heat extremes stretching from coast to coast in the Southern U.S.
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It’s so hot in Arizona, doctors are treating a spike of patients who were burned by falling on the ground

By Jen Christensen   07/24/23  
It is so hot in Maricopa County, Arizona, that people are being brought into the emergency room with significant, sometimes life-threatening burns. For the past three or four weeks of this record heatwave, people have…
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Extreme heat will drive up health care costs by $1 billion each summer, study finds

By Tami Luhby   07/20/23  
Extreme heat will generate about $1 billion in health care costs every summer as more people get rushed to the emergency room or admitted to the hospital to treat temperature-related conditions, a recent study found.…
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Extreme heat sets records, brings health warnings in Europe, US

Large swathes of southern and eastern Europe have been placed on a heatwave red alert and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned of an increased risk of deaths as extreme weather grips the continent,…
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Meteorologists say Earth sizzled to a global heat record in June and July has been getting hotter

By Seth Borenstein   07/14/23  
An already warming Earth steamed to its hottest June on record, smashing the old global mark by nearly a quarter of a degree (0.13 degrees Celsius), with global oceans setting temperature records for the third…
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In a Texas city, heat proved deadly even for those long used to it

By J. David Goodman   07/13/23  
Alfredo Garza Jr. died in his bedroom with two broken air-conditioners, on a downtown street in Laredo, Texas, across from a coffee shop and a bakery. When his body was found, the temperature inside the…
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Too hot to handle: What the world’s increasing heat does to our bodies

By Tina Reed   07/13/23  
With record high temperatures becoming the norm, humans are more regularly hitting the threshold of our ability to cope with heat. Driving the news: The Earth has hit back-to-back historic heat records in recent weeks…
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How Hot Is the Sea Off Florida Right Now? Think 90s Fahrenheit.

By Catrin Einhorn and Elena Shao   07/12/23  
Florida’s coral reefs are facing what could be an unprecedented threat from a marine heat wave that is warming the Gulf of Mexico, pushing water temperatures into the 90s Fahrenheit.
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Extreme heat will cost the U.S. $1 billion in health care costs — this summer alone

By Zoya Teirstein   07/10/23  
Extreme heat — summertime temperatures and humidity that exceed the historical average — is being made more frequent and intense by climate change. In the first two weeks of June, a late-spring hot spell prompted…
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Climate Change Ratchets Up Stress On Farmworkers On The Front Lines Of A Warming Earth

By Melina Walling   07/08/23  
Mily Trevino-Sauceda was 9 when her mother fell as she worked to move irrigation pipes along rows of potato and alfalfa on an Idaho farm. Mily’s 10-year-old brother splashed water over their mother’s face and…
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For The Third Time This Week, Earth Sets An Unofficial Heat Record

By Seth Borenstein and Isabella O'Malley   07/07/23  
Earth’s average temperature set a new unofficial record high on Thursday, the third such milestone in a week that already rated as the hottest on record. The planetary average hit 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17.23 degrees…
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The world just broke a stunning slew of heat records. Why right now?

By Bob Henson   07/07/23  
Mid-2023 seems destined to go down as a pivotal period in climate change history — a time when planet Earth seemed to go from a simmer to a full rolling boil in a matter of…
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Why a sudden surge of broken heat records is scaring scientists

By Scott Dance   07/06/23  
A remarkable spate of historic heat is hitting the planet, raising alarm over looming extreme weather dangers — and an increasing likelihood that this year will be Earth’s warmest on record.
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Heat is a mortal threat to farmworkers. A nurse may have found a way to protect them.

By Sarah DiGregorio   07/05/23  
Pierson, Fla., calls itself the fern capital of the world, because of its many vast ferneries, where the feathery greens that end up tucked into bouquets of roses are grown. Those ferns are cut by…
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Temperatures seen surging as El Nino weather pattern returns

By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber   07/04/23  
Temperatures are expected to soar across large parts of the world after the El Nino weather pattern emerged in the tropical Pacific for the first time in seven years, the World Meteorological Organization said on…
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El Niño Returns: UN Warns Of Upcoming ‘Surge’ In Global Temperatures And Extreme Heat

By Alison Durkee   07/04/23  
The weather pattern known as El Niño has developed in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in seven years, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared Tuesday, warning of record temperatures and extreme…
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Extreme Heat Is Deadlier Than Hurricanes, Floods and Tornadoes Combined

By Terri Adams-Fuller   07/01/23  
On June 25, 2022, Esteban Chavez, Jr., started his day like any other, working his route in Pasadena, Calif., as a driver for UPS. But the city was in the middle of an intense heat…
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Heat waves, extreme weather events becoming more common and likely to increase, experts say

By Anita Snow, Associated Press   06/30/23  
Heat waves like the one that engulfed parts of the South and Midwest and killed more than a dozen people are becoming more common, and experts say the extreme weather events, which claim more lives…
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Pressure builds for FEMA to declare deadly heat events as disasters

By Kate Selig   06/29/23  
Extreme heat kills more people than nearly every other weather event combined. But does the government respond to these potentially lethal events as they do with hurricanes and floods? Not yet. A disaster declaration by…
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Global warming is disrupting humanity’s ‘Goldilocks zone’ on Earth

By Dana Nuccitelli   06/28/23  
Like Baby Bear’s porridge to Goldilocks, for thousands of years, the climate over much of the planet was neither too hot nor too cold but “just right.” Those ideal conditions enabled people to develop advanced…
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Emergency Room Visits and 911 Calls for Heat Illness Spike During Texas Heat Wave

By Martha Pskowski and Gina Jiménez   06/28/23  
Record-setting heat in Texas has sent hundreds of people to emergency rooms in recent weeks, according to state health officials.
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Americans will spend an extra $1 billion on healthcare each summer due to extreme heat: Report

By Julia Jacobo   06/28/23  
The U.S. could soon be paying an additional $1 billion in healthcare expenses each summer due to forecasts of continuing waves of extreme heat in the near future, a new report has found.
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Texas’s nighttime temperatures are a symptom of a new, more dangerous kind of heat wave

By Rachel Ramirez   06/27/23  
A brutal heat wave is expanding across Texas and the South this week, impacting millions of Americans with triple-digit temperatures and extreme humidity that is cranking up the heat index, making it feel hotter than…
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A grid collapse would make a heat wave far deadlier

By Maryn McKenna and Matt Simon   06/27/23  
Consider this nightmare scenario. For four days now, temperatures have soared past 110 degrees. Those able to stay home are cranking their air-conditioning while officials scramble to move the unhoused into cooling centers. Even at…
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Two thirds of country at risk of power shortfall, Energy Department warns

By James Osborne   06/26/23  
The Department of Energy warned Monday that two thirds of the country, including all of the Western United States, is at risk of losing power this summer due to high heat. Citing a recent report…
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ERCOT asks Texans to reduce power use Tuesday as temperatures soar into triple-digits

By Kyra Buckley   06/20/23  
The Texas grid operator asked residents to voluntarily curb electricity use from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday as temperatures hovered near 100 degrees across the state and caused a surge in power demand.
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Here’s How Much Hotter Than Normal This June Has Been

By Elena Shao and Raymond Zhong   06/13/23  
Temperatures around the world this month have been at their highest levels in decades for this time of year.
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How air conditioners will have to change in the future

By Shannon Osaka   06/09/23  
“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” That’s what people say in the summer, when stepping outside feels like being enveloped in a thick, puréed soup. When sweat — the body’s natural cooling mechanism —…
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Summers are heating up fastest in these cities

By Alex Fitzpatrick and Tory Lysik   06/08/23  
Summers have gotten hotter in many cities across the U.S. over the past five decades, per a new analysis by climate research group Climate Central.
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What Extreme Heat Does to the Human Body

By Aryn Baker   05/20/23  
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…
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Cities Must Be Redesigned for a Future of Extreme Heat

By Akshat Rathi and Oscar Boyd   05/18/23  
On this week’s Zero, Akshat Rathi talks to Eleni Myrivili, global chief heat officer for UN Habitat, about how cities can better cope with heat waves. By 2050, almost 70% of the world’s population will…
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The Climate Crisis Is a Health Crisis

By Mark Schapiro   05/17/23  
The direct and indirect health impacts of climate change are one of the most underreported aspects of the climate crisis. The medical and scientific journals are filled with examples of diseases shifting along with the…
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The places at greatest risk from extreme heat

By Chelsea Harvey   04/27/23  
A record-shattering heat wave that blistered the Pacific Northwest in 2021 carried an important lesson, scientists say. Places that historically haven’t had to deal with extreme heat may not be prepared when it strikes.
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Can cities eliminate heat-related deaths in a warming world? Phoenix is trying

By Emma Loewe   01/24/23  
Regional Carrillo could walk to his last job in five minutes. In most places, it would be a pleasant commute. But in Phoenix, where summer days routinely top 110 degrees Fahrenheit (and can feel like…
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A Hotter Planet Takes Another Toll on Human Health

By Bill McKibben   01/19/23  
Shortly after the New Year, the Washington Post ran a story with a headline that would have seemed inexplicable, even runic, to most readers just a few years ago: “The world’s torrid future is etched…
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The last 8 years were the hottest on record

By Henry Fountain and Mira Rojanasakul   01/10/23  
The world remained firmly in warming’s grip last year, with extreme summer temperatures in Europe, China and elsewhere contributing to 2022 being the fifth-hottest year on record, European climate researchers said on Tuesday.
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Climate Change Indicators: Heat-Related Deaths

This figure shows the annual rates for deaths classified as “heat-related” by medical professionals in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The orange line shows deaths for which heat was listed as the…
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