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Heat-related deaths in Maricopa County have nearly doubled compared to last year, report finds

Summer isn't even over yet, but heatstroke deaths in Phoenix, Arizona, are already double what they were at this time last year. According to a new report Maricopa County Coroner's report: Record-breaking heat waves are expected to continue to hit major cities in the Southwestern United States as climate change is exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels.

NASA image shows Phoenix streets The temperature rose to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. In the heatwave, Sky Harbor Airport will reach 118 degrees Fahrenheit by 3 p.m.This broke the previous record of 116 degrees Fahrenheit set in the Arizona city in 1983, more than 40 years ago.

Some advocates believe fossil fuel companies should be held criminally liable for these climate change-related deaths.After a heatwave in Maricopa County in July 2023 killed more than 400 people, a study on attribution of extreme events concluded that it would have been “virtually impossible” for such a heatwave to occur in the American Southwest without human-induced climate change, with lead author Mariam Zakaria, a climate scientist at Imperial College London, saying, “Without climate change, such an event would have been highly unlikely.”

In 2022, Salon interviewed Dr. Juan Declett Barreto, a senior social scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who explained that “without short-term adaptation measures to protect the most vulnerable, the gap between those who have the social, economic, and technological resources to avoid the worst of the heatwaves and those who do not will continue to widen.”

Declair Barrett said: Co-authored study from 2013 He said, “Many of the heat stroke deaths in Maricopa County are occurring among homeless people, for example. Another study from 2016 “We found that the spike in heatstroke deaths that year was due to people's vulnerability to heatstroke, not to weather conditions,” Declair Barrett explained.

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