After a cool spring, welcome to this year's first round of heat in the Northeast. It may have taken a while to arrive, but in a warming world, we are going to see more frequent and intense heat waves that stretch over a longer period of time, according to a new report by the American Meteorological Society.
Heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer, report says. The first heat wave of the season hits the body hard because it takes time to get acclimated to the rise in temperatures. Then, when temperatures don't drop off much at night, it doesn't give the body an opportunity to recover. Another heat related health issue is air quality. As ozone levels continue to rise from greenhouse gas emissions, so do our number of days with poor air quality. This is particularly dangerous to the elderly, children and asthmatics.
Of all weather and climate extremes, heat waves are among the most well-understood consequences of global warming, the AMA reports says. Studies have shown that global warming made the deadly 2003 European heat wave more likely to occur, as well as the record-shattering 2010 Russian heat wave.
The graphic above charts the rise in number of days with 90 degrees or higher for the New York area. Drag your mouse over each dot for the specific number of 90 degree days or higher for that year.
MORE ON CLIMATE CENTRAL:
- Sea Level Rise Analysis
- Funding For Climate Research May Be Shifted
- Climate Change: Human Disaster Looms, Research Says
MORE: Forecast for the Week Ahead