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July 19, 2024 5:08 pm

Local News

NV braces for scorching temperatures; report predicts more heat

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Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

A dangerous heat wave and possible record-breaking temperatures are headed toward Nevada and parts of the West later this week and a new report showed climate change could increase the frequency of such events.

The Climate Central report found human-caused climate change added an average of 26 days of extreme heat globally than there would have been otherwise.

Fredi Otto, co-lead of World Weather Attribution and senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, said it will continue to be more difficult to keep vulnerable communities safe.

“Overwhelmingly we are in the era of loss and damage,” Otto pointed out. “Climate change is not something happening somewhere else, or sometime in the future, it is here and now.”

Experts like Otto are calling on policymakers to take action as the deadly heat can take a serious toll on those who work outside. After failed legislative attempts, the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration is working on new requirements for businesses to implement their own rules to keep workers safe.

In Nevada last year, there were just under 350 heat complaints filed with OSHA, up from 210 the previous year.

Roop Singh, climate risk adviser for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, considers heat waves a silent killer, unlike other types of natural disasters. While the Biden administration has invested billions of federal dollars to help lower energy costs for Americans, data show assistance only reaches a small portion of those who need the help during the hot summer months.

Singh said national legislation could help make a difference.

“Can we build those in? Can there be national legislation around building codes for keeping your homes cooler?” Singh urged. “Worker safety laws, especially for people who are working outdoors, can also be really helpful.”

Singh noted other measures to reduce the impact of hotter days include making cooling needs part of the social safety net, as well as designing towns and cities with cool spaces in mind.

Just last year, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed a measure to accomplish those goals in Clark and Washoe counties. He argued it would create red tape for developers.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.