How this Dutch city is redesigning itself for extreme heat

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“While we keep fighting climate change for coming generations, we have to adapt to climate change as we see the consequences of climate change today.” In the Dutch city of Arnhem, the government now plans to replace 10% of the city’s roads with greenery. It’s one part of a new plan to adapt to the effects of climate change in the area, including flooding and extreme heat. Read Full Story

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We should start giving names to extreme heat waves

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Extreme heat kills more Americans each year than other disasters, but the public isn’t as wary of it. More publicity could help. As a prolonged heat wave bakes states like Florida and Texas, it’s happening at the same time as coronavirus cases spike, which means people are stuck at home. If they don’t have air-conditioning, it’s likely to lead to early deaths: Extreme heat kills more Americans each year than disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods, and as climate change progresses, the problem is getting worse. But heat waves rarely get as much attention as something like an approaching tropical storm. Read Full Story

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The West Coast’s extreme heat and wildfires have another hidden danger

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Affordable housing is at risk, and policymakers need to act now to protect it. As repeated heat waves blister urban residents and the West Coast regularly erupts in devastating wildfires, a disproportionate amount of low-income households are feeling the burn. According to recent research, a large amount of California’s subsidized housing is located in areas facing risk of wildfire or the impacts of extreme heat—two problems only expected to get worse as the climate continues to change. Read Full Story

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Map: Killer heat and humidity is spiking decades sooner than we feared

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At a ‘wet bulb’ temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, a human can’t survive for more than six hours, even in shade and with water. We’re starting to see those conditions more and more frequently. If heat and humidity cross a certain extreme threshold—a “wet bulb” temperature of 35 degrees Celsius—the human body can’t survive long outside. It’s a scenario that some researchers had predicted becoming common later in the century, when climate change may make some regions essentially unlivable. But a new study suggests that dangerous, previously unprecedented levels of heat and humidity are already beginning to occur. Read Full Story

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These maps show you where to move once climate change make parts of the U.S. unlivable

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Increasing extreme heat, flooding, and fires will all contribute to reshaping where people can live. As the climate changes, some swaths of the U.S. already seem less livable—just ask anyone currently living on the West Coast, where at least 27 people have died so far in the current wildfires, and the air quality in Portland, Oregon, was rated so hazardous on Monday that the county tweeted that no one should go outside. A new series of maps from ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine , based on data from the Rhodium Group, shows how climate conditions could continue to change across the country, forcing people to move and making it more difficult to grow food. Read Full Story

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Cheap, green, and beautiful: The future of housing, according to this year’s Solar Decathlon winners

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The winners of the 2021 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge show how to build energy-efficient housing in extreme climates—the kinds of conditions climate change will only make more prevalent. The next generation of energy-efficient homes is on its way. Nine new homes have just completed construction in cities across the United States, offering a glimpse of how homes can be green, affordable, and beautiful. Read Full Story

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The 2020 presidential election will decide the fate of the climate

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As we approach planetary tipping points, it’s vital to understand the two candidates’ plans—or lack thereof (Trump doesn’t have one)—for combatting climate change. Whether the world succeeds in avoiding the worst impacts of climate change is likely to hinge in part on the results of the upcoming U.S. election. Climate scientist Michael Mann has said that a second Trump term would be “game over” for the climate, making it virtually impossible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Biden, by contrast, is proposing the most ambitious climate policy of any major party nominee in U.S. history. Here’s a closer look at the differences. Read Full Story

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Sea level rise is unstoppable. Cities can adapt, but they need to think bigger

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Sea level rise will erase entire cities and render homes, buildings, and roads unusable. A new book lays out key design strategies to help us adapt. The climate and the oceans have warmed beyond the point of no return. According to a new book from oceanographer John Englander , there is nothing we can do to stop the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Rising sea levels are now inevitable. By the end of this century, sea levels could be 10 feet higher than they are today. Read Full Story

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The scariest thing about climate change isn’t the weather—it’s us

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Rising temperatures will fuel more political turmoil of the kind we are seeing today. Last year saw a raft of unprecedented extreme-weather events—the biggest-ever California wildfire , the most named storms in the Atlantic, the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history. Experts said these disasters both highlight the current toll of climate change and provide a grim preview of what’s to come. Read Full Story

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This ‘climate park’ in Copenhagen now doubles as flood infrastructure

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With sudden, heavy rainstorms becoming more common, a new park design—capable of holding nearly six billion gallons of water—gives all that rain somewhere to go without flooding city streets. As a coastal city, Copenhagen faces the risk of storm surges from rising sea levels. But it also faces an even larger risk of flooding from extreme rainstorms, which are becoming more common as climate change progresses. A massive new “climate park” is designed to capture water in sudden storms—nearly six billion gallons—to keep it from flooding streets and buildings when the sewer system is overwhelmed. Read Full Story

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