Across much of the U.S., we’re still sweating it out after a massive heat wave enveloped broad masses of the country last week. It was one of the worst in decades, following on the hottest June on record, and what’s looking like will be the hottest year on record.
The U.S. has plenty of company in feeling the heat. Earlier this month, China was so hot they started doling out heat subsidies to outdoor workers. And, as I pointed out in my post back in May, millions across South Asia have been affected by record-shattering temperatures this year. That heat can have deadly affects. More than 130 people died directly from the heat wave and drought in India this spring—that’s not including indirect deaths that mostly occur in the very young and relatively old due to the additional physical stress of heat—and the year is far from over.
Heat in the summer does happen. But, it’s clear that we’re already beginning to see evidence of a trend for the worst. Because of climate change, episodes of extreme heat are only going to get longer, more intense and more frequent—in the U.S. and throughout the world. With time, having the means to adapt—and learning to do so—will become a matter of life or death.
So, how hot will it be?