Exposure to extreme heat grew drastically in the world’s cities – Justine Calma

People resting in a lawn on a hot summer day, at Rajpath near Vijay Chowk, on June 30, 2021 in New Delhi, India. As the monsoon continued to play truant, heatwave in Delhi NCR turned severe recording the highest maximum temperature of the season at 43.5 degree Celsius. | Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Exposure to dangerous levels of heat and humidity in cities across the world has exploded over the past three decades, according to new research. In a study of more than 13,000 cities, the number of people exposed to extremely hot and humid days in a given year (measured in “person-days”) tripled between 1983 and 2016.

Extreme heat is already a leading weather-related killer

It’s a symptom of two trends colliding: urban population growth and rising global average temperatures. Cities often reach higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas because they’re typically designed in a way that traps heat. So when people flock to urban centers, they’re also flocking to places where they could be at greater risk of heat-related illness and…

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