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Visitors walk past a sign reading ‘Stop: Extreme Heat Danger’ in Death Valley National Park during a heat wave on July 7, 2024. Etienne Laurent/AFP via Getty Images

Extreme heat waves broiling the US in 2024 aren’t normal: How climate change is heating up weather around the world

Global temperatures have averaged at least 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than preindustrial times for over a year. Two scientists explain what that means and what humanity can do.
University engagement with communities, such as the clothing exchange organized by UBC Climate Action Mobilizers, is vital for empowering communities and addressing climate injustices. (Linda Nowlan)

Extreme heat, extreme inequality: Addressing climate justice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Often those most impacted by climate change are those least able to engage with climate discourse. Universities have a responsibility to engage with these communities.
The rising frequency and intensity of heat waves has been affecting people’s mental health by triggering various forms of emotional distress including eco-anxiety, (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Climate change and extreme heat are making us more anxious

A small number of people experience a debilitating level of eco-anxiety that limits their ability to live happy and healthy lives.
Older adults experiencing homelessness and housing insecurities are some of those most impacted by climate change. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Better emergency preparedness can protect older adults from climate change

Governments and organizations must listen to older adults’ experiences with extreme heat, flooding and wildfire smoke to create effective policies and programs
Concrete and asphalt roads, and other built materials readily absorb, store and release heat, raising city temperatures, a phenomenon called the urban heat island. (Pixabay)

Small green spaces can help keep cities cool during heat waves

During heatwaves, the highest temperatures are often found in urbanized areas. Small green spaces are often overlooked as a way to cool urban areas.
Climate marches, like this one in Glasgow during the COP26 climate conference in November 2021, can help people move from worry to action. AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

The climate crisis demands courage not optimism

Instead of asking about optimism, it’s time to ask what we as citizens are going to do about climate change.

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