If you ever went through summer in today’s cities, chances are you felt more than on one occasion the sun is out to get you. A report from NRDC shows you weren’t just imagining it. Summer heat is expected to kill 150,000 Americans by 2100.
I bet you were told several times by now you’re complaining of the heat without reason. In fact, although climate change and the summer heat are quite excessive, not many people look at these as big health risks. Dehydration and a solar burn don’t make for a good excuse when you’re running late or canceling a meeting.
But as the “Killer Summer Heat” report shows, “more than 150,000 Americans could die by the end of this century due to the excessive heat caused by climate change”. When it comes to the big cities, this excessive summer heat is all the more intense, as the concrete, glass buildings and metal on the streets make it even harder to find a cool breeze.
The report studied 40 cities, and 37 of them have been identified with increased risk of having heat-related deaths. The cities having the hardest time will be Louisville, Detroit and Cleveland with an estimated 257 heat-related deaths per summer by 2050.
People with heart problems are at the utmost risk. According to the American Heart Association, during a heat wave, people with cardiovascular disease and seniors should get checked twice a day. With the grim prognosis of the NRDC, baby boomers about to start their retirement years should be aware of the risk.
“Illnesses that are caused or made worse by extreme heat – including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease – currently lead to hundreds of deaths each year” reads the report. The truth is that over the past few years, each summer felt more gruesome to bear. The summer heat makes everything much worse and it’s likely down the line heat exhaustion is going to become an official reason to skip work.
The city of Chicago already took notice of the “Killer Summer Heat” report. The authorities are planning to use a thermal radar to obtain a map of the hottest spots in Chicago. These will be revamped with vegetation and pavement removal so they won’t retain that much heat.