White House launches heat.gov to prepare for severe heat waves

As parts of the world boil under record heat, and as the Biden administration’s ambitious climate plans fail, the White House has unveiled a new strategy to help communities prepare themselves for hot, deadly temperatures. Website is launched.

According to the site, summer.govMore than 39 million people in the US faced extreme heat alerts when it launched Tuesday, or about one in 10 residents. As one of its many interactive maps shows, that number includes people in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the heat index, or what it feels like outside, reached 112, but also in temperate places like Portland and Seattle. People in the 90s with record-setting highs – life-threatening conditions for communities not accustomed to extreme heat. After last year’s scorching heat in the region, more conservative Estimate The death toll is nearly 200, and across the US, the heat is now to blame More than 700 deaths per year, making it the deadliest form of extreme weather. But we’re just heating up.

“This summer, with its oppressive and widespread heatwave, is likely to be one of the coldest summers we will see for the rest of our lives,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during a press briefing. “It’s pretty scary.”

With the new online portal, she said, “You could be a mom this summer trying to decide, ‘Is it safe for your kids to play outside? To go camping?'”

On the homepage of Heat.gov, an interactive map shows the hottest areas in the US as of July 26 [Screenshot: heat.gov]

The site, created with data from 11 federal agencies, is aimed at local communities, businesses and decision makers, with an emphasis on the places most affected by extreme heat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are largely Black and Native American communities, as well as poor urban neighborhoods and very rural locations. With daily temperature data and a series of interactive maps showing real-time and future heat trends, there are links to government and NGO resources and tips on staying cool: Avoid physical activity outside, find a safe cool place, take a cool bath , and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The centerpieces are maps and data visualizations that bring together data from different agencies. The CDC-powered Heat and Health Tracker lets you scroll back in time to see past heat advisories — last week, half the country was subject to heat advisories — and so forth. Between 1976 and 2005, Tulsa residents saw an average of 66 days a year with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit; By 2050, this number is expected to increase to 107 days. By the end of the century, the mean annual temperature for the continental US is projected to climb to 8.7 degrees Fahrenheit. July 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as seen in the Heat & Health Tracker Dashboard [Screenshot: heat.gov]

extreme heat hub Uses maps to show future forecasts of hot spots and heat stress, combined with data on vulnerable populations including older adults, young children and people with disabilities. a page named the climate explorer Lets you view “social vulnerability” maps based on census data, as well as charts, graphs and maps of extreme weather events, climate change and high tide floods for any given area. a dedicated section urban heat island– Areas with a high proportion of asphalt green space that can be up to 20 degrees warmer than surrounding areas on hot days – Contains links to maps and information for community groups that want to help finance want to apply for nutrition Map your own cities,

There are also resources for city planners, public health officials and hospitals struggling to cope with a surge in heat-sick patients. Cecilia Sorensen, MD, associate professor and director of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education at Columbia University, “Currently, few health systems have heat action plans and can measure heat exposure in real-time for patients. Clinical health is rarely integrated into decision-making.” , said in a statement shared by NOAA. “These new tools will allow health systems easier access to the information they need to promote climate-readiness and heat-resilience, ultimately reducing system-wide impacts and improving the efficiency of health systems, including patient and community health. Will improve results.”

I 1 90773017 After Climate Defeats The White House Is Trying To Help With A Heat Map
Tri-state region as seen through Climate Explorer [Screenshot: The Climate Explorer]

The website was one of the early initiatives of the Biden administration’s National Climate Task Force and its Working Group on Extreme Heat, a handful of inter-agency groups that aimed to bring together climate information from across the administration. . The site was built by the National Integrated Heat Health Information System, or NIHHIS, a seven-year collaboration between the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and CDC, with technical assistance from mapping company Esri. data set There is open access, which aims to promote their use by local decision makers or even app developers.

“the construction of summer.gov This is an exciting milestone for the interagency program as it is now the prime starting point for decision makers and the public to find important and timely heat-related information,” said Hunter Jones, climate and health project manager in the NOAA Climate Program Office. Said in an e-mail. “We look forward to working with our partner agencies to continue to improve the information and resources available to support future summer resilience.”

equity in emergency

Biden administration heat maps are also being used inside the White House. Biden’s council on environmental quality More equitably distributing $50 billion in federal climate funding has been relying on extreme heat maps and other data analysis tools, according to White House climate adviser David Hayes. President Biden’s Justice 40 initiative, overseen by Congress, ensures that 40 percent of those dollars go to the communities that would benefit most from clean energy projects and those predicted to be most affected by climate change .

Extreme heat is only one of the effects of climate change, which now range from heavy flood events and coastal erosion to deadly wildfires and droughts in the country. NOAA is outlining climate-related carnage billion dollar disaster siteLast year, 21 extreme weather events caused more than $145 billion in damage and more than a thousand deaths. But, Hayes said, for every dollar spent on climate disaster preparedness, 10 to 11 are saved on post-disaster recovery.

“Let’s spend this money wisely at the local level where one size doesn’t fit all, where the focus will be on disadvantaged communities in particular,” Hayes said in a conference earlier this month.

The new website launched a week after Democrats failed to reach an agreement on climate with Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who recently rejected plans Inclusion of climate provisions in the Comprehensive Expenditure Bill. That frustration, on top of a recent Supreme Court ruling that curtailed the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, deflected Biden’s ambitious plans to address some of the worst effects of climate change.

Still, Biden has vowed to continue to advance his climate agenda. in a series of executive Order Last week, his administration directed $2.3 billion for FEMA’s resilient infrastructure program, which helps communities prepare for climate disasters, to include cooling centers and energy-efficient air conditioners with low income Expands the U.S. Energy Assistance Program, and directs the Interior Department to make the first proposal. Wind power site in the Gulf of Mexico. Biden has previously suggested he could declare an official climate emergency, which would garner billions more funding and enable the use of the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of renewable energy systems.

Biden said last week at Bretton Point, a former coal-fired power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, “When our country faces a clear and present danger and that’s what climate change is about, I have a responsibility to act immediately and resolve.” work with.” “This is a clear and present danger, literally, not figuratively. The health of our citizens in our communities is literally at stake.”

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