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Arizona is concerningly hot. And not in a good way.

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

This past summer, especially in August, Arizona has reached dangerous temperatures, making it almost inhabitable. This August alone, Maricopa county in Arizona has reached temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit! People even try to cook eggs on the street as a social media trend!

If the streets are hot enough to cook eggs, imagine what danger it poses for the people. Arizona's temperatures have gotten so high that people get burned just by falling. These past few weeks, many people have been brought to the emergency rooms for serious, and even life-threatening burns.

“The numbers are higher and the seriousness of injuries are higher, and we don’t have a good explanation for it.” said Dr. Kevin Foster, director of burn services at the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health.

The injuries are very serious. As of Aug. 5, 59 people had died of heat-associated causes in Maricopa County. This led the county medical examiner to investigate another 345 suspected heat deaths.These injuries are related to heat stroke and/or burns.

“The temperature of asphalt and pavement and concrete and sidewalks in Arizona on a warm sunny day or summer afternoon is 180 degrees sometimes. I mean, it’s just a little below boiling, so it’s really something,” Foster said.

People who are on the pavement for a fraction of a second instantly get a burn. People that have been on the pavement for more than 10 minutes have tissue that has been completely destroyed, resulting in third-degree burns.

This problem has become so grave that the mayor had to issue a heat warning.

“Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego earlier this year asked FEMA to add extreme heat to its list of declared emergencies, a move that would unlock federal funding to protect vulnerable people during the summer.” AXIOS Phoenix Newsletter states.

These rising temperatures have people wondering and thinking about climate change. Arizona’s heat emergency has no doubt proven that climate change is a real threat to people.

Kathy Jacobs, a professor at the University of Arizona, studies the cause. “Whenever we are burning coal or oil, we are seeing some emissions from that going out into the atmosphere and trapping heat,” she said.

Even if you don’t live in Arizona, this extreme summer heat still concerns you. Your state might be next in experiencing the heat!

If we don’t take action to reduce our carbon footprint, the extreme weather will only continue.



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