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Heat

WNYC News

Beware the Light Box Effect — and Other Secrets of NYC's Microclimates

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's only a few degrees, but when a heat wave comes, variations in temperature across Manhattan could spell the difference between life and death.  

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Gallery: Capturing Heat on Camera

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

James Estrin, photographer and editor of The New York Times "Lens" blog, talks about capturing heat on camera and the challenges of news photography in sweltering conditions. Plus: Some of Estrin's favorite heat photos.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Hot All Over: Your Calls from Cultures of Heat

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Listeners from hot climates around the world share how the weather has influenced local cultures, from architecture to food. Tell us your story of living with heat — anywhere in the world. What do you remember about living a lifestyle of a really hot culture? Call us at 212-433-9692, that's 212-433-WNYC.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

In The Future, We'll All Be Wearing Short Sleeves To Business Meetings

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our daily lives might be about to change with the expected climate shift. David Biello, editor for environment and energy at Scientific American, discusses the future of our communities, and some of the changes Americans might have to make.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

It's Getting Hot in Here: What Heat Does to You

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dr. Susi Vassallo, clinical associate professor in the department of medicine at NYU Langone, explains what happens to your body, brain, and behavior when the temperature rises.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Hot Days and Heated Issues

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We've been pretty lucky this summer — there haven't been many dog days — but we can't expect that to last. Today, a discussion about heat: What it does to our body and brain, how climate change will affect our society and day-to-day life, how artists visually interpret heat, and your anecdotes about growing up in hot cultures. Plus: New York City's response to immigration in the face of inaction by Congress, and a discussion about responses — immediately from first responders, and afterwards from community leaders — after the death of Eric Garner.

New Jersey News

Snow Piles On the Hardship in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Friday, February 14, 2014

WNYC

With more than double the snowfall average this winter, those in low-income neighborhoods say the snow and the cold are significantly impacting their lives.

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WNYC News

Scuba Diving to Ship Wrecks

Thursday, August 08, 2013

New York’s and New Jersey's waterways are home to dozens of shipwrecks.

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WNYC News

Can You Fry An Egg On the Sidewalk?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chrissie Lam always wondered if you could fry an egg on the sidewalk on a hot day. So she choose the corner of Bowery and 4th street.  At 10 minutes in,  the organic egg is congealing --getting close to soft boiled. 

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WNYC News

In Public Housing, Some Seniors Worry About Health in the Heat

Friday, July 19, 2013

The New York City Housing Authority is doing outreach to the elderly during the heat wave — but some seniors who live in public housing say the city could be doing much more.

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WNYC News

At Night, Social Scene Blossoms as Heat Brings Neighbors Outside

Friday, July 19, 2013

WNYC

Parks in New York City are keeping their sprinklers on a little longer, and keeping their gates open a little later for residents looking to keep cool during the hot summer nights.

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WNYC News

Without Power, Residents Seek Respite from the Heat

Thursday, July 18, 2013

As the intense heat leads to power outages in some parts of the city, residents are exploring strategies to stay cool.

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Transportation Nation

Uber Dispatching Ice Cream Trucks Like Taxis Friday

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WNYC

You can order an ice cream like a taxi Friday, and the truck will show up with it. 

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WNYC News

City Scorched By Soaring Temps

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Yorkers should continue to brace for sizzling temperatures as the week-long heat wave marches on — one of just seven heat waves this length ever to scorch the city.

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WNYC News

Con Ed Aims For Rapid Response In Heat Wave

Monday, July 08, 2013

For Con Ed, responding to heat waves is like a battle. And this is the war room.

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WNYC News

Baked Apple: Fruit Vendors Struggle With Summer Heat

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fruit vendors at green market carts around the city say they have been struggling to keep themselves cool and produce fresh in the stifling summer heat.

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Transportation Nation

DC Metro: We Need Rail That Can Handle Hotter Temperatures

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Metro board discusses what caused the July 3 track derailment and train evacuation incident in College Park, Md. (photo by Markette Smith/WAMU)

(Markette Smith -- Washington, DC, WAMU) More details have emerged about the July 3 train car derailment that happened during rush hour near West Hyattsville, Md.

Metro engineers inspected the tracks a day before the derailment, but say they found no warning signs. The following day, a portion of the railing buckled from the pressure of prolonged 100-degree weather. This "heat kink" caused a six-car Green line train to jump the tracks.

Now, Metro officials say the only way to prevent that from happening again is to change the way they install railing system-wide.

Dave Kubecik, Deputy General Manager of Metro Operations, says the likelihood of a track buckling increases when temperatures climb higher than 85 degrees. So now, they're trying new methods of installing rail that can withstand greater exposures to heat.

"Knowing that it's subjected to an environment of 95 and 100 degrees, you're going to have much more movement and energy that's going to have to be released or contracted," says Kubecik. "So by adopting a standard of 95 degrees neutral, basically that means that that infrastructure is designed to take more heat and it minimizes its movement."

This is the second incident of a Metro rail buckling under extreme heat this year.

The incident also prompted the institution of a new safety rule. After the train jumped the tracks, the six-car Green Line train momentarily lost power. The train operator had did not have a cell phone and had to walk to a communications outlet to alert the rail system of what happened.

As a result of the incident, Metro has instated a 5-minute rule. So now, in the case of a communications failure, if managers at headquarters do not hear from a train operator in the field within 5 minutes, then they will automatically send emergency responders.

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Transportation Nation

How Hot Is It In The NYC Subway Today?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Note on a newsstand on the West 86th Street downtown 1 platform (photo by Kate Hinds)

This newsstand is refrigerating the chocolate.  Twizzlers, apparently, are impervious to heat.

Temperatures on New York City subway platforms can exceed 100 degrees in the summer. Recently, NY1 reported that the MTA was sitting on a 'secret weapon' it could be deploying to cool stations -- giant tunnel fans.

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Soundcheck

Songs of our Summers

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It seems like every summer has one song that takes over the airwaves.  But that’s not always the song you remember later on.  The Soundcheck crew offers songs that recall past summers.

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Transportation Nation

Heat From Climate Change Will Kill More Americans This Century: Report

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

(photo by Lori Greig via flickr)

150,000 Americans will die from excessive heat by the end of this century if carbon pollution continues unabated.

That's according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which released a report (pdf) Wednesday projecting future heat-related mortality in the U.S.'s 40 largest cities.

"We think, if anything, (those estimates) are low," said the NRDC's Dan Lashof, explaining during a conference call with reporters that researchers didn't adjust for expected increases in population. But, he said, these stark numbers show "climate change has real life and death consequences -- one of which is that carbon pollution, which is continuing to increase our atmosphere, is going to continue to make climate change worse and increase the number of dangerously hot days each summer."

Thirty seven of the 40 cities studied would see increases in deaths. Larry Kalkstein, a professor of geography and regional studies at the University of Miami and co-author of the research, said they found a "regional coherence" in the heatwave effect. And perhaps counterintuitively, cities in the South appear to be spared the worst.

According to the NRDC, the three cities with the highest number of total estimated heat-related deaths through 2099 are Louisville, Kentucky (19,000 deaths); Detroit (17,900); and Cleveland (16,600).

"The Midwest is particularly hard hit," Kalkstein said, explaining that cities that experience sharp temperature fluctuations are more at risk than those cities with more constant temperatures, even if they're hot.

"Take a typical day in Washington or Philadelphia or New York, where most of the summer days are in the eighties," he said. "And then all of a sudden you get a hot streak, where the temperature goes up to a hundred degrees plus for a week -- and that is what causes the problem. The fact that people are not used to this high variable climate, that all of a sudden you have a 20-degree rise in maximum temperature...for this reason, many less people die of the heat in cities in the deep South."

But just pinning down how many heat-related deaths there are each year is more of an art than a science. "People tend to understate the threat of heat, and the medical examiners tend to under-report the number of people that die from heat," said Kalkstein.

The NRDC praised cities like Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, which it said have upped their game in responding to heat-related emergencies and have adopted strategies like cooling centers, "heatlines", and organized programs where neighbors look in on local at-risk residents. Some cities also won't cut off power to residents who have failed to pay an electric bill during a heat-related emergency.

Case in point: New York City, with its eight million residents, sees an average of 184 heat-related deaths each summer. But just across the Hudson River in Newark, New Jersey -- population 280,000 -- that number is 56.  "New York has one of the most aggressive local health departments in the country," Kalkstein said. "They're one of the few cities in the country where the Health Department calls the heat emergency, rather than the National Weather Service...they are doubling down on every effort to deal with heat."

 

 

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