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Scientists Link Central Valley's Extreme Heat To Greenhouse Gas Emissions


A new study suggests that the Central Valley’s extreme heat is linked with increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

A group of scientists say that in recent decades, heat waves in the Central Valley are more severe due to higher humidity and warmer night temperatures.

Roberto Mera with the Union of Concerned Scientists led the study.

“Our human emissions are causing the heat waves to be warmer and to last longer.”

And he says that may cause serious health problems for disadvantaged communities in the Valley.

“Especially for our Latino farmworkers," Mera says. " For example there was a particular heat wave in 2006 that was linked to increases in emergency department visits, hospitalizations and at least 146 deaths and many actually occurred in Fresno.”

Mera says the study opens the door to larger questions about climate justice. He says it provides a science based framework for strategies that both reduce CO2 emissions and help the people most vulnerable to climate change.

The study was published on Monday in the Journal Climatic Change.

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.