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Extreme heat is the deadliest weather event in the United States

Heat waves and extreme heat kill more people in the United States than any other weather event. Experts say we should be worried as heat waves are getting more intense.

When it comes to weather-related hazards in the United States, extreme heat is exacting a stark toll.

Across the country, heat causes more deaths each year than any other weather event, according to the National Weather Service. That dominance has also persisted over decades, with heat-related fatalities dwarfing deaths from tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other weather hazards over the past 30 years.

It's a worrisome trend, experts say, given that both the frequency and the severity of extreme heat events are projected to increase due to climate change.

"We're already seeing a big impact today," said Chris Uejio, an associate professor at Florida State University who studies extreme heat and environmental health. "Heat waves are becoming more frequent, intense, longer-lasting and geographically widespread."

Average surface temperatures around the world have increased as humans pump heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As these baseline temperatures creep up, it makes heat waves more likely to occur — and also more intense when they do.

Post ID: 124020de-67f1-4d60-8e50-af88978772a8
Rating: 1
Updated: 3 days ago
New York, New York

Seattle, Washington
Member since Feb 2021

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