Brooklyn had a half marathon this weekend and a runner died. It was in the 90’s and fifteen other runners ended up in the hospital. This was all documented here on CNN. For those of us who live here, it wasn’t a surprise. It was fiercely hot and I can’t imagine someone going out to run for any reason. It isn’t supposed to be above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in May.
The name of the phenomenon is WET BULB TEMPERATURE and it kills. It means that extreme heat has combined with high humidity and the end result is that the body can’t cool by sweating. We’ve been getting warnings about this for several years ago. My friend Kevin Hester wrote about it six years ago and I guess the news sites were hoping nobody would notice til the bodies started falling. Here’s an article on the topic . The issue is that such days are becoming more common throughout the world. NY has been relatively temperate over the years, but all that concrete absorbs the radiant heat until the death dealing heat gets to a certain point. a short paragraph on the issue:
‘Never-before-seen high temperatures and high humidity are resulting in thousands of heat injuries and hundreds of heat deaths across India. In some places, wet bulb readings appear to be approaching 35 C — a level of latent heat never endured by humans before fossil fuel burning forced global temperatures to rapidly warm. A reading widely-recognized as the limit of human physical endurance and one whose more frequent excession would commit the human race to enduring an increasing number of episodes of killing heat. A boundary that scientists like Dr. James Hansen warned would be exceeded if a human-forced warming of the world was not halted.’ It’s Kevin’s projection that wet bulb will eventually become a leading cause of death. That’s already the case in parts of Asia.
Wet bulb death is now showing up in f*kin Brooklyn. And all I have to say….because there comes a time when we can’t run the AC enough to counteract what temperature is doing. this is not bragging about knowing the results of not addressing global warming. Trying to think of how to address a shrinking future.