FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, July 31, 2006

(Heat) Waves of the Future

Get used to brutal heat waves that cause power outages and take lives, say scientists and weather experts. Not just for this summer -- above normal temperatures are forecast for August across the US -- but for the long term.

Global warming may be the culprit, scientists say, causing more frequent heat waves with higher temperatures. If current trends stay on track, temperatures may continue to rise over the next several years to rival the record-setting heat of the 1930s Dust Bowl era.

Experts believe that residents of older Northern cities, where homes often lack air conditioning, may be at greater risk than their counterparts in the South and Southwest, where air conditioning has always been a necessity. Many cities have prevented heat deaths by establishing emergency cooling centers where residents can stay and cool down.

Source: AP