Climate change and concrete turn up heat on vulnerable communities in New Jersey’s cities

Source(s)
Climate Central

By Michael Sol Warren and Charles Wohlforth

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New Jersey just experienced its second-hottest summer on record, yet another sign of how climate change has intensified temperatures across the Garden State. But people in urban areas — which tend to lack greenery to break up the concrete landscapes — are more regularly exposed to dangerous heat than folks in suburban and rural areas.

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The rising heat could mean thousands of deaths in New Jersey, according to new research led by Drew Shindell of Duke University. Shindell found that excessive heat already kills around 12,000 Americans annually — about as many as gun homicides — with that number projected to increase rapidly if climate change is unabated.

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The rising heat could mean thousands of deaths in New Jersey, according to new research led by Drew Shindell of Duke University. Shindell found that excessive heat already kills around 12,000 Americans annually — about as many as gun homicides — with that number projected to increase rapidly if climate change is unabated.

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Cities across the country have been working to keep senior citizens safe during heat waves by opening cooling centers (trickier to operate during a pandemic), distributing free air conditioners and even by dispatching teams of nurses to check on them. Poverty is the biggest challenge.

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