What Do Climate Change’s Rising Temperatures Really Mean?
Climate advocates mention rising global temperatures all the time. In fact, that’s what the “global warming” means in its most basic sense. Yet what will rising temperatures actually amount to? A lot of health effects we probably don’t want, says a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council featured in The New York Times.
Climate change will lead to worse heat waves during the summer months, and even more heat-related illnesses and deaths; children, the elderly, and athletes of all ages are expected to be especially vulnerable. Communicating this tangible impact of climate change–and following up with actionable steps people can take in their own lives–may be one way of getting Americans people on board with solutions to prevent further change and prepare for impacts to come.
Jane E. Brody, Contributor to The New York Times
Hot weather kills more Americans than all other natural disasters combined, and the casualties continue to climb despite decades of warnings about how to recognize the signs of heat stress and take prompt corrective action.
With climate change, some experts predict ever-worsening summer heat waves and even more related illnesses and deaths. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that excessive heat caused by climate change could kill more than 150,000 Americans by the end of the century in the 40 largest cities.
“As carbon pollution continues to rise, the number of dangerously hot days each summer will increase even further, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of lives lost,” the council reported.
Image credit: Katherine Streeter via The New York Times