Chicago, IL —
A few years ago, a heat wave in Europe claimed the lives of over 15,000 people. Ten years ago, over 700 people died in Chicago because of a heat wave. Just this summer, more than 200 U.S. cities hit record high temperatures. And this September was the warmest on record worldwide.
We are increasingly feeling the danger and impacts of global warming. And when it comes to hot temperatures, global warming also makes air pollutionlike the smog that still plagues so many U.S. citiesmore dangerous, particularly for asthma sufferers and the elderly.
And the problem is getting worse instead of better. According to a recent Washington Post article, the past three years were among the warmest on record, with 2005 is well on its way to becoming the record-holder.
A study conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research predicts that heat waves in Chicago and other major American cities will get more severe, more frequent and longer.
A few of their predictions:
In Cincinnati, global warming would increase by 90 percent (from 14 to 26) the number of days when ozone levels exceed the health-based air quality standard set by the EPA.
Louisville would see the highest rise among the study cities for asthma hospital admissions of people under 65 and mortality because of elevated smog levels due to global warming.
This summer's blistering heat wave was unprecedented in intensity, duration, and geographic extent. It's time to stop global warming. These are summer blockbusters we can do without.