August 11th, 2020 (UTICA)- The Utica-Rome area already experienced 15 days of 90°+ temperatures in 2020 and there are still over 40 days left of summer. Over the last 50 years, there has been a gradual uptick in days with temperatures above 90°. This impacts human health as emergency room visits spike when the heat index exceeds 95°.
Heat is the number one weather-related cause of death in the United States. This year alone, 15 deaths have already been linked to children left in cars on hot days. It is never okay to leave your child or pet alone in a car as radiation from the sun can quickly heat up objects like the dashboard. These objects will then heat the interior of the car through convection. This can cause the temperature to rise to over 120° within the car, and that is with an outdoor temperature of just 80°.
Heat-related illnesses are of biggest concern to the elderly and those with underlying health issues. Research has found that over 80% of the victims of heat-related deaths are above the age of 60. The best way to avoid any more heat-related casualties is keeping in contact with the elderly, especially during hot days. The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered in-person communication with family and friends but especially the elderly as that age group is also at greatest risk of COVID-19 complications. Thus, it is important to check in via text message or phone call.
The first half of 2020 has already become the 2nd hottest of any year recorded. Greenhouses gases have caused the planet to warm at rates not seen before in modern history. There have always been fluctuations in temperatures but it is the rate at which the temperatures are increasing that is so alarming.