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A deadly combination: Extreme heat and power failures

By EarthX Stories posted 05-07-2021 13:26


By Christopher Flavelle

There’s a growing risk of major cities in the United States being hit by power failures and heat waves at the same time, researchers found — and the health consequences would likely be devastating.

Researchers looked at what would happen to indoor temperatures in three cities if a blackout overlapped with a severe heat wave. They found that at least two-thirds of residents in Detroit, Atlanta and Phoenix would be exposed to heat exhaustion or heat stroke if a heat wave overlapped with a blackout.

"Climate change is making heat waves more frequent and intense. Blackouts are also becoming more common: The number of power failures in the United States doubled from 2015 to 2020, and they were most frequent during the summer months."

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