Heat waves are the #1 weather-related killer.
Source: 2006 HBO Documentary Films: Too Hot Not to Handle. (2 minutes into video)
Notes: Expanded quote:
"Heat waves are without a doubt the greatest weather related killer in the United States. Each year, it kills more people than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, blizzards, and lightning combined.
Heat deaths are sneaky deaths. They are not as apparent as deaths you get in torandoes, hurricances and disasters of that kind. Generally, people die of cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, and stroke.
We only have to go back a decade to see what happened in Chicago in the tragic heat wave there in 1995. Population can survive one, two, and maybe even three days in a row of hot weather, but this situation persisted over a week. Temperatures approached 106 degrees. Appoximately, 800 people died in a within short period of time in one or two week in one city." - Dr. Laurence Kalkstein, Center for Climate Research, University of Delaware.
The 2006 HBO Documentary Film, Too Hot Not to Handle, begins with stark information about heat waves. It states: 'In the United States, heat waves lasting four days or longer have tripled over the past 50 years.'
It then goes on to say that 'Heat waves are expected to double by the year 2020 if global warming is not curbed.'
Dr. Richard Somerville, professor of climate research at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, "In a warmer world, the odds simply change to favor more heat waves. That is a very serious consequence of a warming climate. In Europe in 2003, a severe heat wave killed tens of thousands of people."
Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, professor of Geosciences at Princeton University, added, "The European heat wave of 2003 got our attention, because it was a very rare event. But, that event will become commonplace over the next few decades if we don't stop global warming."
Dr. Oppenheimer also stated, "The most obvious impact of global warming in more heat waves."
Comedian Steven Wright once joked, "If you saw a heat wave, should you wave back?"
Unfortunately, real heat waves, especially connected with climate change, are no laughing matter.
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