Heat Wave State's Deadliest
Elderly, Isolated are Heat's Quiet Victims
|County||Current heat wave||Average per year 1989-2004||Most per year||Year of Maximum deaths|
|Imperial||8||3.5||8||1995, 1996, 2000|
|Los Angeles||9||3.9||10||1990, 2000|
|San Bernardino||9||1.8||4||1989, 1990, 2001, 2003|
|San Diego||3||2.6||7||2001, 2004|
Scientists Expect Scorching Heat in Future Summers
Illinois Braces for Heat Wave
It's Going to Be Hot
[Not all blame for a given heat wave is due to climate change, but] [h]eat waves and global warming “are very strongly” connected, said Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis branch chief at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.
[W]hat global warming has done is make the nights warmer in general and the days drier, which help turn merely uncomfortably hot days into killer heatwaves.
Measuring the true cost of heat waves
The severely hot weather that withered crops, dried up rivers, and fueled fires in the summer of 2003 took a massive human toll. The full magnitude of this quiet catastrophe still remains largely an untold story, as data revealing the continent-wide scale have only slowly become available in the years since.
All in all, more than 52,000 Europeans died from heat in the summer of 2003, making the heat wave one of the deadliest climate-related disasters in Western history.
Projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global body of some 2,000 scientists, show more extreme weather events ahead as the planet heats up. By the end of the century, the world's average temperature is projected to increase by 2.5-10.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4-5.8 degrees Celsius). As the mercury climbs, more frequent and more severe heat waves are in store. Accordingly, the World Meteorological Organization estimates that the number of heat-related fatalities could double in less than 20 years.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change