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The heat wave scorching the US is a self-perpetuating monster

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

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

🗞️ Driving the news: A "heat dome", a cap of extra-hot air, is affecting the West and South US with excessive heat warnings and advisories
• Phoenix could see highs above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, while Death Valley in California is close to reaching 130 degrees

🔭 The context: Following the hottest June on record globally, and with an evolving El Niño event, global temperatures are set to increase further
• Urban areas like Phoenix, Houston, and Los Angeles are more severely impacted due to the urban heat island effect

🌎 Why it matters for the planet:  The prolonged, extreme heat is particularly dangerous as it discourages cloud formation and dries out the landscape, perpetuating the high temperatures
• The heat could potentially affect people with conditions like asthma, as it leads to the formation of ozone which irritates the airways

⏭️ What’s next: Climate scientists are still debating whether climate change will make heat domes more common, but agree that as the world gets hotter, the severity of heat domes is likely to increase
• Also, climate change-induced droughts may exacerbate the effects of heat domes by reducing available moisture that can help cool landscapes

💬 One quote: "Heat domes are not new, but their extent, duration, and amount of extreme heat could very well be attributed to the climate change that we are seeing across the globe" (Howard Diamond, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Air Resources Laboratory)

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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