Patz and Vavrus Contribute Expertise in WPR Interview on Record-Setting Heat

Even prior to the official start of summer on June 21, Wisconsin has experienced several heat advisory days. Jonathan Patz,Vilas Distinguished Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Population Health Sciences,  and Steve Vavrus, Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research senior scientist and co-director of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), discussed the health and climate perspectives of increased temperatures in the recent story “Heatwave leaves much of Wisconsin sweltering Monday and Tuesday” on Wisconsin Public Radio.

The article addresses the unusual occurrence of the extreme temperatures in the state, under reporting of heat-related deaths, and longer and more frequent heat waves in the future due to climate change.

Patz shared that heat-related deaths are often underreported and cited recent research that shows a link between extreme heat and redlined communities. Vavrus explained that the state is experiencing more extreme heat at night, equating it to “putting a heavier blanket on us at night, and so we can’t cool off.”

In the summer, the number of days hotter than 90 degrees is likely to triple in Wisconsin by mid-century.

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