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How the dangers of heat waves sneak up on people

Californians are staring down an unusually long and dangerous heat wave. Public health officials are opening cooling centers and urging caution as folks head out to celebrate the Fourth of July in what the National Weather Service says could be several days of 110-degree temperatures.

There’s no question that kind of heat is hazardous to your health. But why? What happens to our bodies when we get too hot? And what can we do to stay safe?

To find out, UC Newsroom reporter Julia Busiek caught up with Tarik Benmarhnia, Ph.D., an environmental epidemiologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. He studies the many ways that climate affects our health, what makes some people more vulnerable to climate hazards than others, and what communities and officials can do to prepare and protect people.

Read the UC Newsroom story here

And, watch a video on extreme heat by Fig. 1 — UC’s award-winning video series that explores big ideas and the brilliant UC minds behind them — below:


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