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Heat Wave Mortality in Cities to Rise as Global Warming Accelerates (was Trains)

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  • Mike Neuman
    Inadvertently, the post I made this morning under the Trains, Planes and Automobiles subject line had a word missing in one of the ... degrees F. in summer,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 9, 2003
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      Inadvertently, the post I made this morning under the "Trains, Planes
      and Automobiles" subject line had a word missing in one of the
      sentences. The following was the sentence:

      > ... summertime temperature's in Wisconsin could be close to 20
      degrees F. in summer, with higher humidity levels as well....

      I meant to say summertime temperatures in Wisconsin by the end of the
      century are expected to be 20 degrees F. "hotter" than Wisconsin's
      present summertime temperatures (if current rate of greenhouse gas
      emissions continue). The source of this projected increase is from a
      study published by the Union of Concerned Scientists this past April,
      which was authored by a number of prominent global warming scientists
      from various universities around the Midwest. The study can be read
      and downloaded from the following web site:
      http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/glchallengereport.html


      For your information, temperatures already reach into the 90s and
      occasionally above 100 degrees F in Wisconsin during the spring and
      summer. An increase in summertime temperatures by 20 degrees F as
      projected above will greatly add to mortality rates from heat waves
      in Wisconsin.
      http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/heatwave.htm

      The heat wave-caused mortality will be especially high in Wisconsin
      and other cities, as the so-called "heat-island effect" -- largely
      created by a city having a substantial portions of its area paved
      over with heat-absorbing cement concrete and black asphalt (primarily
      for automobile use of highways, streets, parking lots and driveways) -
      - typically causes summertime temperature levels in cities to be
      2-10°
      F degrees F warmer than temperatures in the non-paved areas
      surrounding cities.
      http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/ActionsLocalHeat
      IslandEffect.html

      Of also increased concern is that not only do the elevated
      temperature levels in these cities contribute to potentially
      dangerous heat related public health impacts in these areas
      (especially for those having no home air conditioning, and for those
      who have to be outside for long period of time during the day), but
      also these areas typically have higher ground level ozone levels due
      to all the automobile driving in the area, which is a factor that can
      lead to increased rates of hospitalization and mortality in the
      population of asthmatic children and adults having a prior history of
      respiratory problems.

      Finally, humidity levels, as measured by dew point temperatures, have
      been increasing in essentially all regions of the country over the
      past several years. Refer to Table 4 of the article posted below on
      the Climate Archive Yahoo group:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/226
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