Deadly heat waves becoming more common

Global Business

From coast to coast, the U.S is seeing more heat waves, and those heat waves are killing people.

That’s the verdict of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which says that extreme heat is now killing more people in the United States than all other climate events combined.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports.

Early July saw dozens of people killed across North America: 28 dead in Montreal alone, after several days of record-breaking temperatures in Canada.

A southwest United States heat wave caused havoc in July, too, and at one point, a heat-dome held temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius in 44 of the 50 U.S. states.

Jason Samenow, Washington Post’s weather editor, explained what a heat dome is, “It’s an enormous area of high pressure at high altitudes. The air sinks under the heat dome, it compresses and it heats up the air and we’ve seen that not only in the eastern and western areas of the United States but in many areas of the world this summer.”

California has been particularly hard hit. In fact, it had its hottest July on record. Wildfires have been burning out of control in different parts of the state, from wine country in the north, to Los Angeles in the south. Even though wildfires are common there, they’ve been particularly devastating this year because of the extreme dryness; hot temperatures and winds contributing to a tinderbox effect.

In fact, much of the world has been sweltering, with record-breaking temperatures felt everywhere from Japan to Portugal. And according to Samenow, we need to get used to this kind of weather:

“We’ve seen these heat domes getting hotter and hotter over time. We’ve seen the increase in number of all-time record highs set not only in the United States, but all over the northern hemisphere this summer, so as the world continues to warm, we should expect these heat domes to become more intense and yes, this will be the new normal.”