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A grid collapse would make a heat wave far deadlier


· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Wired here or enjoy below! 

🗞️ Driving the news: A recent study highlights the potential consequences of a heat wave-related grid failure in Phoenix, where half of the city’s 1.6 million residents would require medical attention and over 13,000 lives could be lost

🔭 The context: Heat waves and their impacts are exacerbated by climate change, which increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events
• The resilience of the electric grid in the face of heat emergencies contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of power generation, as stable grid operations avoid the need for backup fossil fuel-based power sources

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Extreme heat poses significant risks to public health, exacerbating underlying health problems, increasing hospital visits, and straining emergency medical transport
•  Vulnerable communities, particularly those with lower incomes and limited access to air conditioning, are disproportionately affected by heat waves
The urban heat island effect leads to higher temperatures in lower-income neighborhoods due to the lack of cooling trees and the thermal properties of concrete and brick in cities

⏭️ What’s next: Municipalities and healthcare providers need to proactively plan for extreme heat events, developing heat action plans that prioritize the needs of vulnerable populations and establish effective cooling centers

💬 One quote: “One of the lessons of the pandemic was that we need more flexibility in hospital design” (Craig Zimring, emeritus professor of architecture at Georgia Tech)

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