WORKSHOP: Extreme Heat and Health Risk

Jul 20, 2021

Climate Central held an online workshop on July 19, 2021, to discuss the impacts of extreme heat on communities and on individuals’ health.

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Climate Central held an online workshop on July 19, 2021, to discuss the impacts of extreme heat on communities and on individuals’ health. Panelists provided an overview of how climate change is warming our planet and increasing the frequency and intensity of dangerous heat, and they described how hard surfaces and a lack of vegetation is exacerbating heat in urban environments. 

Not all neighborhoods in cities are feeling this extra heat equally, though — the parts of cities that are the hottest tend to be formerly 'redlined' areas occupied by communities of color. Panelists suggested interviewing residents of these communities and focusing on their experiences and health risks for coverage. Solutions to urban heat include replacing paving with green space and planting more trees, and improving access to air conditioning and providing residents with information about health risks associated with high temperatures. Heat is America's main weather-related killer and those who are most vulnerable include outdoor workers, including farmworkers, as well as seniors, children and those with health problems including diabetes.

Panelists: 

  • Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair, ADVANCE Professor, and Director, Global Change Program, Georgia Tech
  • Juan Declet-Barreto, Senior Social Scientist for Climate Vulnerability, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Meenakshi Chabba, Coordinator of Research Programs, Extreme Events Institute, Florida International University
  • Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Health Sciences, Spelman College
  • Cheryl Holder, Internal Medicine, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Community Initiatives at Florida International University's Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (FIU HWCOM); Co-Chair, Florida Clinicians for Climate Action (FCCA); and Co-Chair, Miami-Dade County Heat-Health Task Force.
  • Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks, Reporter, The Sacramento Bee
  • Priyanka Runwal, freelance science, health and environment reporter for Climate Central and other outlets

Climate Central Resources on Heat 

Other Resources

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