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Can the first US ‘chief heat officer’ build a model for future resilience?


2021 has been a scorching year for extreme heat events across North America — cities across the usually temperate Pacific Northwest reached temperatures as high as 117 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Across the border into Canada, temperatures in Lytton, British Columbia, broke the country’s all-time national high temperature with a high of 116 degrees F in late June. The region broke its own record again the next day when temperatures soared to almost 120 degrees F. Residents in both nations died as a result of the heat: 16 heat-related deaths were confirmed in Seattle, and British Columbia reported 486 sudden deaths, three times more than usual …

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