Extreme heat appears to be killing people at an alarming rate in America’s national parks this year, highlighting both its severity and the altering assessment of personal risk in the country’s natural areas as climate change produces more extreme weather.
According to news announcements from the park service and preliminary National Park Service data provided to CNN, more people are believed to have perished in national parks since June 1 from heat-related causes than in an average year.
According to data on park fatalities from 2007 and preceding years, no other year had five heat-related deaths by July 23. The month with the highest heat-related mortality in parks, August, is still to come.
All five reported fatalities occurred in 100-degree heat, a microcosm of a much more widespread trend of extreme heat that has broken more than 3,000 high temperature records across the United States since early June.
The causes of the reported fatalities are currently being investigated. Every year, heat murders twice as many people as tornadoes and hurricanes combined, making it the most deadly weather condition.
Heat Waves Potentially Fatal Impact
Nonetheless, heat-related deaths in the United States are notoriously difficult to monitor; according to a 2020 study, they may not have been reported in some of the most populous counties.
According to the National Park Service, the true cost of this year’s extreme heat and recent heat waves may be significantly higher. They confront the same difficulties.
To ascertain the medical cause of death, they must collect and confirm death reports from hundreds of different parks and the equally extensive and complex system of local and state officials.
This has been demonstrated to be accurate in the past. However, current data indicate that this unremitting heat could be fatal, particularly in the Southwest.