Extreme heat, whether in the form of rising long-term average temperatures or punctuated by heat waves, is a global health threat that is clearly exacerbated by a changing climate. With more than 80 percent of Americans living in urban areas, and over half of the world’s population living in urban areas, a focus on understanding, mitigating, and adapting to extreme heat in cities is becoming a high priority.
On November 12, CPO's Hunter Jones joined more than 30 urban climatologists, architects, planners, and emergency management & public health practitioners to address an estimated 200 audience members, in New York City for the symposium: “Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World”.
He opened the symposium with a keynote on global, national, and local trends in extreme heat, as well as NOAA’s role in addressing the problem--the development of the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS). During the symposium, he discussed research supported by every Climate Program Office program that contributes to understanding and addressing extreme heat.
The meeting was developed by the Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY). The meeting was all about increasing resilience to extreme heat, sharing knowledge with stakeholders in a multidisciplinary setting, and learning about their needs.
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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