Global Temperatures for July Break Records
High temperatures in July are breaking global records, questioning potential strain on the power grid, healthcare delivery, and is this a new normal.
July has proven to be a pivotal month in the global effort to mitigate the effects of climate change. For the month, soaring temperatures shattered longstanding records worldwide. Since the beginning of the month, each passing day brought unprecedented heat, culminating in a relentless streak of high temperatures that persisted throughout the month. It was even difficult to find relief at beaches as water temperatures reached new record highs — water temperatures off Florida coast registered 101.1°F.
The implications of this extreme heatwave extend far beyond discomfort and weather observations:
From strain on the power grid, need for more public pools and cooling centers, to improving the country’s healthcare delivery system, state and local governments face an increasing set of challenges.
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The first three weeks of July turned out to be the warmest three-week period ever recorded. Temperatures even exceeded the 1.5°C threshold above preindustrial levels, a limit set in the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change. July 2023 has been marked by a series of record-breaking global mean surface air temperatures. From July 3 to 6, the daily temperature record was broken four days in a row. Since then, nearly every day has been hotter than the previous record, with the hottest day being July 6, when the global average temperature reached 17.1°C (62.7°F). An exceptionally long period of unusually high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) is contributing to the heat. Since April, daily global average SST has remained at a record level for this time of year.
Remote Work and City Structure National Bureau of Economic Research
Major U.S. cities with over 1.5 million workers saw an 80% drop in trips to the central business district (CBD) during the pandemic, stabilizing at just 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
Smaller cities with less than 150 thousand workers had a similar loss in trips to their CBDs, but have since fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
As remote work becomes more common, shorter commutes are less critical, leading to reduced demand for housing near city centers.
Office work faces a coordination challenge, as workers prefer the CBD if others do too, but opting for remote work otherwise.
The pandemic triggered a "permanent change in one of the most enduring characteristics of human organization: work at city centers."
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