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Heatwaves: the silent disaster

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  • UserDr. Gulrez Azhar (Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington), and Mr Mihir Bhatt (All India Disaster Mitigation Institute), and Dr. Carlee Purdum (Texas A&M University)
  • ClockTuesday 22 November 2022, 15:00-16:00
  • HouseZoom via mailing list (see the CDRN front page) .

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Heatwaves have had devastating effects throughout history. A heatwave across Europe in the summer of 2003 killed over 70,000; projections show that by 2100, 2 percent of India’s population will be exposed to the ‘heat survivability limit;’ and at baseline climate conditions, the US could lose an average of approximately $100 billion annually via heat-induced labour productivity decline. Despite the threats posed by heatwaves to human health and safety, and their implications for national economies, heatwaves are comparatively understudied within academia. Moreover, they are often not regarded by governments or media as a ‘disaster’. There are various reasons for this, including: heatwaves do not involve mass destruction of property, the deaths that result from heatwaves are often relatively widely dispersed, and they are often not directly attributed to heatstroke. However extreme heat is increasing in severity and intensity. It is necessary to understand (1) the (unequal) threat this poses to communities, and (2) the power that lies in interdisciplinary mitigative tools to prepare for and protect against heatwaves in an inclusive manner

This talk is part of the Cambridge Disaster Research Network series.

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