• Quote of the Day
    "The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you."
    Leo F. Buscaglia, posted by Daniel

David Baxter

Mar 26, 2004
From the latest National Geographic newsletter:

By Robert Kunzig, ENVIRONMENT Executive Editor

At National Geographic we spend months, sometimes years working on our magazine features, especially the cover stories, so they’re generally not tied to the news of the week. But sometimes we’re on top of the news anyway.

Last Thursday, as we were publishing our July cover package on the challenge of extreme heat amplified by climate change, the temperature in Phoenix hit 118°F—four degrees hotter than the previous record for the day. Records fell across the American West last week, as more than 40 million people endured temperatures above 100. According to the calendar, it was technically still spring.

It didn’t take great foresight to know such an extraordinary heat wave would happen sometime soon. As Elizabeth Royte writes in the July issue, nothing is more certain about global warming than that it will lead to hotter weather—and more suffering, including in Phoenix, which regularly records more heat deaths than any other American city. “A juggernaut is in motion, and it will fundamentally change how most of the planet lives,” Royte writes. ....

Heat makes drought worse, but the West’s multiyear megadrought is also making heat worse. Soils are so dry now in some regions that less sunshine is being diverted to evaporating moisture—it’s all heating the ground and air. “The ground is burning like a hotplate,” meteorologist Simon Wang of Utah State University told the Guardian last week. “And we’re standing on it.”
The entire west coast of the US and Canada are currently experiencing an extreme heat wave and weather forecasts indicate that it hasn't even reached its peak yet: that will come around the weekend apparently.

That sounds positively brutal.

It's also associated with a drought affecting farmers and all of us in terms of harvests and food prices down the line. We can also expect a wave of bad forest fires as time goes on.

I don't understand how climate change deniers can still maintain their beliefs.


Forum Supporter
Aug 5, 2004

Across the West, housing markets and temperatures are both scorching hot. A punishing spring of drought, wildfires and record-shattering heat is amplifying questions about the habitability of the Southwest in a rapidly warming climate. But it has done little to slow the rapid growth of cities like Phoenix, where new arrivals are fueling a construction frenzy — as well as rising housing costs that are leaving many residents increasingly desperate to find a place they can afford to live...

Being homeless in an era of mega-heat waves is particularly deadly, as homeless people represented half of last year’s record 323 heat-related deaths across the Phoenix area. The homeless population has grown during the pandemic, and activists are now worried that an expiring eviction moratorium will mean others will lose their homes at the height of summer.
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