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Several temperature records were broken along the East Coast on Tuesday, with the mercury reaching into the high 90s at all three New York City airports and parts further north, such as Burlington, Vt., where residents and businesses are ill-prepared for such heat. The heat wave is expected to continue through the end of the work week along the Eastern Seaboard, and severe storms are parked over the Midwest, causing floods in Duluth, Minn.
Hot weather is an often overlooked cause of death worldwide and in the U.S., especially in low-income urban areas where residents might lack air-conditioners. In fact, high heat is the number one weather-related cause of death in the U.S. In an average year, heat kills more people than floods, hurricanes, lightning and tornadoes combined, according to the National Weather Service.
This year has already brought higher temperatures than normal nation-wide, and that trend is expected to continue, in part due to global warming which is caused by rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The gases come primarily from coal-fired power plants and automobile exhaust. In the absence of efforts to curtail those emissions, should we expect more heat waves and other extreme weather this summer?
Join us below at 1:30 PM Eastern today (Thursday, June 21) to learn more during a live 30-minute online chat at Scientific American with David Biello, an energy and environment editor at SA for more than six years. We will turn on the capacity to log-in to the chat box below around 1:20 PM EDT.
I'm the news editor at Scientific American, and I'll be hosting this chat. We'll be chatting today with SA editor David Biello. David has been covering energy and climate for SciAm for >6 yrs. He has been on the energy beat since 1999.
Hi David. Welcome!
David, it was shocking to hear Piers Morgan dismiss our extreme heat as 'just another summer' last night on CNN. How do you respond? It's not Fox News we're talking about, but CNN perpetuating this gibberish.
Yes let's get started. Welcome WriterWeegs. Thanks for telling us about Morgan. What do you think about that, David?
Well, I can say that Piers is both right... and wrong.
On the one hand, every year has its share of extreme weather and every summer has its share of heat. On the other hand, this kind of unusual early summer heat (& record high temps over the winter) suggests climate change.
Yep, and therefore I feel his comments last night were very dangerous. I was shocked, frankly.
Was the mild winter and early spring heat a fluke or a symptom of global warming, and how can you tell?
@MsPoodry we can't tell... yet. Like I said, every year has its share of weird weather. But it's certainly indicative of the kind of thing we'd expect from global warming.
Hello, I was curious about Dave's biggest motivation. What is your biggest driving force in your studies?