It Wasn’t Just You: Data Show 2023’s Summer Was Hottest Ever. By A Lot.
Data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service show July was the hottest ever month on record. And August? The second hottest recorded. In turn, reports show that heat-related deaths are also up, but not just because of hotter weather.
The Washington Post:
This Was The World’s Hottest Summer On Record ‘By A Large Margin’
Fueled by unprecedented heat on much of Earth’s land and ocean surface, this summer was the planet’s hottest on record “by a large margin,” the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service announced Wednesday. August capped this summer’s extreme heat with a monthly average temperature of 62.3 degrees Fahrenheit (16.82 Celsius), which was 0.71 C warmer than the long-term average and 0.31 C warmer than the previous warmest August in 2016. It was the planet’s second-hottest month ever observed, closely following July, which was the hottest. (Stillman, 9/6)
KFF Health News:
Heat-Related Deaths Are Up, And Not Just Because It’s Getting Hotter
Heat-related illness and deaths in California and the U.S. are on the rise along with temperatures, and an increase in drug use and homelessness is a significant part of the problem, according to public health officials and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat was the underlying or contributing cause of about 1,670 deaths nationwide in 2022, for a rate of about 5 deaths per million residents, according to provisional data from the CDC. That’s the highest heat-related death rate in at least two decades. Data from this year, which has been exceptionally hot in much of the country, is not yet available. The next-highest death rate was logged in 2021. (Reese, 9/8)
Pregnant Women Face Greater Health Risks In Excessive Heat
Exposure to extremely hot weather raises pregnant women’s risk of severe health complications, researchers said in a study coming at the tail end of the warmest summer on record. High outdoor temperatures during pregnancy were associated with a 27% increase in risk for such complications as sepsis, a potentially lethal reaction to infection, or dangerous increases in blood pressure, according to an 11-year review of more than 400,000 pregnancies in a Southern California health system. (LaPara, 9/7)
In other environmental health news —
Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs Catch A Ride On Air Pollution Particles
It has long been suspected that particulate air pollution could transport antimicrobial-resistant bacteria that leak into the environment from farming, aquaculture, wastewater treatment and hospitals. The new research, from a team at Zhejiang University in China and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, set out to quantify the role of air pollution in the growing global AMR problem. The team found a strong association between particulate air pollution [in a given country and reports of clinical antibiotic resistance. (Spitzer. 9/7)
US, State Officials Expand Efforts To Contain Chronic Wasting Disease Ahead Of Hunting Seasons
Late summer and fall herald the start of deer hunting season in the United States, and jurisdictions have been taking steps such as boosting research capacity, expanding hunting seasons, offering more hunting permits, and restricting baiting to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer and other cervids across the country. ... While CWD isn't known to infect humans, some experts fear it could jump species to other mammals, including people. Infected cervids shed infectious prions, which can infect others through contact or persist for years in the soil, where it is taken up by plants on which animals feed. (Van Beusekom, 9/7)