By Dylan Lewis
Temperatures that are usually seen in drier climates out West have reached our city. Philadelphia has been placed under an extreme heat advisory starting Thursday, July 27 at 9 a.m. to Saturday, July 29 at 8 p.m. Temperatures are expected to rise to the high 90s over the next couple of days. We could continue to see more situations like this happening throughout the next few months.
The heat that we’re experiencing is a result of climate change, caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide being released into the air and then becoming trapped in the atmosphere. Trapped gas then absorbs the sun’s heat and prevents it from escaping into space, warming our planet.
Dr. Andra Garner joined Solomon Jones on Wake Up with WURD to discuss this rise in extreme temperatures. She explained to listeners the science behind the warming and possible solutions.
“One thing that is kind of good news is that we are the problem here. We are the cause of this warming. So we absolutely can and must be the solution. All of the impacts that we’re seeing here, like these really extremely warm temperatures, should really spur us to action and help us be motivated to reach for a more hopeful future,” said Garner.
One of the best things we can do to prevent climate change from significantly worsening is to talk about it. Garner emphasized that once folks are educated, they can use the power of the vote to ensure that the people we put into power are willing to participate in the fight against climate change.
In the meantime, Philadelphians must take precautions against the heat. The Philadelphia Health Department put out a press release with the following tips to avoid heat-related illnesses:
- Use air conditioners. If necessary, go to an air-conditioned location for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.
- If using a fan, be sure to open windows to release trapped hot air.
- Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, to prevent dehydration. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. The City’s tap water is high quality, meeting all state and federal quality standards. Residents don’t need to go out and buy bottled water. They can rely on their home tap to stay hydrated.
- Never leave older people, children, or pets alone in cars.
- Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.
- Maintain a normal diet.
- Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.
- Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above). Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, lightheadedness, and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink fluids, remove excess clothing and rest. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911. City hospitals are ready and available to accept patients who need help.
For the full press release, click HERE.
Listen to the interview: