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The California heat wave is just the beginning

The California heat wave is just the beginning

Despite promises, California doesn’t know how many people died in record summer heat wave


The government is warning us that last year’s deadly heat wave was “unprecedented” — and it’s just the beginning.

More than 1,000 Californians die each year from record-breaking heat, yet we don’t know how many perished this summer.

That’s troubling because scientists fear California’s infrastructure isn’t equipped to cope with a heat wave of this magnitude.

“We’re a heat wave nation in the sense that we’re having heat waves more and more intense. We’re not talking about just heat waves, we’re talking about temperatures that are going to get people out of their homes in the middle of the night,” says Peter Gleeson, head of the California Department of Public Health.

The department hasn’t been able to get exact figures on how many people died each year from severe heat, but last year’s record-breaking temperature, dubbed the “Summer of heat” because a heatwave can last up to two months, is estimated to have killed 7,000 Californians.

Scientists are now estimating the death toll from this year’s deadly heat wave at between 15,000 and 20,000 people. There’s no official estimate yet.

Here’s what experts know about the summer’s heat wave so far:

It was the worst in California’s history

Extreme heat has been steadily increasing over the last 30 years in California, and this summer was just the latest.

Researchers at the University of Southern California released new figures this month on the number of deaths from extreme heat in various locations across the state. They found that for the past three summers, the hottest day in the past four years was hotter than today — at least for a day or so. The record-breaking heat on July 26 of last year hit a record of 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles, with an air temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

The hottest day ever recorded in California was 106 degrees in 1983. It broke the previous record of 105 degrees in 1961.

It was also the most deadly heat wave since 1950.

The previous record-setting heat wave was in 1954. That one killed more than 400 Californians.

The majority of deaths occurred in the San Joaquin Valley, where nearly 5,000 people died, a third of them among children. Seventy-one percent of the victims in that storm

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