Thursday, August 27, 2009

Heat waves are deadlier than hurricanes or tornadoes, and they have been so throughout modern history

Climate experts have warned that the sort of serious heat wave that is now possible given current climate conditions, but which has not struck yet, could kill thousands of U.S. residents.

SHOOT: The penny begins to drop that Climate Change has real implications. It drops, unfortunately, very late in the day, at high noon, when there's little to do about the problem except open an umbrella and wait.
clipped from

Heat waves out West are getting worse as the climate changes, a new study finds.

One example: From mid July to early August 2006, a heat wave swept through the southwestern United States. Temperature records were broken at many locations and unusually high humidity levels were recorded.

Firefighters keep watch as mountain scrub and trees burn in a 750-acre wildfire

The event included extreme muggy heat that is part of a trend of increasing nighttime heat wave activity observed over the last six decades, the researchers said in a statement today. This trend has accelerated since the 1980s and has become especially prevalent in this decade, they conclude.

The results are not isolated, and they fit with predictions that a warmer world will produce greater extremes.

A study in 2007 found European heat waves are nearly twice as long as they were a century ago and the number of hot summer days there have tripled.

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