Extreme Temperatures and Thermal Stress

Heat waves are the leading causes of weather-related morbidity and mortality in the United States, and hot days and hot nights have become more frequent and more

13 For additional discussion and references, see Chapter 11 in Part II of the report.

intense in recent decades. Their frequency, intensity, and duration are projected to increase, especially under the higher warming scenarios. Warming temperatures may also reduce exposure and health impacts associated with cold temperatures, although the extent of any reduction is highly uncertain, and analyses and projections of the impacts of temperature changes on human health are complicated by other factors. In particular, death rates depend on a range of circumstances other than temperature, including housing characteristics and personal behaviors, and these have not been extensively studied in the context of future climate projections.

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