Here in southern Ontario, we've been having quite the heat wave. While it's a bit more reasonable today, I don't think it's over just yet. And obviously southern Ontario isn't the only jurisdiction suffering. From the Washington Post (via Chris Mooney at DeSmogBlog):
Nationally, 1,966 daily high maximum temperature records have been broken or tied so far this month (through July 23). Sixty-six of those records were all-time maximum temperature records.More impressive, however, are the figures for highest minimum temperature records. Because of the extremely high humidity levels during this heat wave, a whopping 4,376 record highest minimum temperature records were broken or tied through July 23. Of those minimum temperature records, 158 were all-time records.
As Mooney points out, this kind of extreme weather event is one of the easier phenomena to link to the climate change caused by GHG emissions. This is exactly what the studies suggest we can expect. And I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on the economic effect of long stretches of extreme heat and humidity. Does it have a serious effect on productivity? What are the costs associated with health related issues? How about the extra use of energy to power air conditioners to a greater extent than in the past?
If we're to expect these kinds of weather events to continue and even to increase in intensity then surely a government like ours, with its laser-like focus on the economy, is studying the matter, providing funding to do research and preparing to craft policy in response to evidence...
Never mind. For a moment there I forgot who I was talking about. The heat must have addled my brain.