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After another year of record-breaking heat, a heightened focus on public health

With heat deaths surging in Texas, Arizona and across the nation, researchers model a myriad of heat effects on the human body and focus on the disproportionate impacts suffered by the elderly and people of color.
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US climate resilience plans need to prioritize older people

Hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves take a disproportionate toll on older people. A new book argues that preparedness planning must prioritize this fast-growing demographic.
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Climate change and an aging population

New book explores how climate change impacts the elderly in unique ways — and how we can preserve their well-being and include them in solutions.

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Unsplash: Dim Hou

‘Cerberus’ heatwave brings searing temperatures to Europe as Italy could hit 48C

The Independent writers Matt Drake and Stuti Mishra describe a heatwave named after a mythological underworld monster that could set a new record.

In a nutshell:

A heatwave is engulfing southern and eastern Europe, with temperatures in the Mediterranean expected to reach record highs. The heatwave is caused by an area of high pressure named Cerberus, which is forecast to bring temperatures of up to 48C to Sicily and Sardinia. The Red Cross has urged people to check on the most vulnerable during the high temperatures, and to stay hydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and look out for signs of heatstroke.

Key quote:

Professor Richard Betts, climate scientist at the Met Office and University of Exeter told the BBC: “This is all a stark reminder of what we've known for a long time, and we will see ever more extremes until we stop building up more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

The big picture:

When fossil fuels are burned, they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat, which warms the planet. As the planet warms, the atmosphere can hold more water vapor, which also traps heat. This creates a feedback loop that causes the planet to warm even more. While heat waves are a natural phenomenon, they are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change. When the body is exposed to high temperatures, it works harder to cool itself down. This can lead to heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is a mild condition, but heat cramps and heat stroke can be life-threatening.

For more, check out The Independent article.

How can we stay healthy in the face of increasing heat? EHN spoke with heat equity experts about how young people can work toward protecting the most vulnerable from extreme heat and advancing climate justice.

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Photo by Andrew Rivera on Unsplash

Health of older Americans at risk from growing heat waves fueled by climate change

Heat waves fueled by climate change are arriving earlier, growing more intense and lasting longer, creating higher risks of illness and death for older people who are especially vulnerable to hot weather.

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Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

Deadly heat waves threaten older people as summer nears

As heat waves fueled by climate change arrive earlier, grow more intense and last longer, people over 60 who are more vulnerable to high temperatures are increasingly at risk of dying from heat-related causes.

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