Killer Weather: What You Don't Know About the 'Heatpocalypse'

heat wave bostonJust when you thought it might be safe to go outside, think again. Weather in Boston, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Indiana and Connecticut is still forcing us to stay inside, crank up our A/C, drink water, and do whatever else we can to cope with the "oppressive, excessive heat." We're supposed to take heart in the fact that instead of temperatures in the 100s -- like yesterday's 108 in Newark, New Jersey or 105 near Baltimore -- today's highs will "at least be in the 90s." Haha, craaazy!

But while we're all worked up about the actual number the mercury is going to hit at its highest point today, it seems like there are a couple of things about the heat most of us are totally clueless about. For one, the daytime high temps may be brutal, but they're not as worrisome as what's going on once the sun goes down.


When I stepped outside of my apartment in Northern NJ last night, at almost 10:30 p.m., it was still insanely hot -- sweaty legs hot. I had a creepy vision of what the world would be like if 105 degrees at night became a normal thing. Seems as though something like that might not be too far off in the future. Call me reactionary, but it also feels kind of apocalyptic to me. After all, this kind of extreme weather -- especially the nighttime heat -- is a red flag of climate change.

In fact, nighttime temperatures "bring us to a deadly level that is a concern," says director of the Dallas County Health Department. Because there's absolutely no reprieve at night! It's why 5,000 people died in Paris during the summer of 2003. Plus, it can totally mess with our food supply. If crops can't cool at night, say bye-bye harvests.


This all boils down to something we simply can't afford to be clueless about anymore. The higher nighttime temps paired with higher humidity we've been experiencing are hallmarks of greenhouse gas theory. And this, my friends, is why I am so freakin' annoyed that our government can't even decide how it's going to pay our bills, let alone acknowledge we have to do something drastic to reverse environmental woes. What's it going to take? When are we going to learn that it's not up for debate? It's here, it's now, and it's making us all so hot we can barely think straight.

Do you believe the heat wave is a result of climate change?



Image via Doc Searls/Flickr

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