How Extreme Heat Overwhelms Your Body and Becomes Deadly

The heat wave that scorched Europe last week felt like a red alert of climate change. Death Valley was cooler than southern France, where temperatures reached a record-breaking 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But as the heat broke and returned to the relatively temperate 80s, another forewarning emerged. Civilizations need to adapt and protect themselves from extreme heat. More than anyone, the French are aware of just how deadly extreme heat can be. In 2003, a heat wave lasting two weeks killed an estimated 15,000 people in France—and 70,000 throughout Europe. By comparison, this June heat wave lasted just four days. It will take time for authorities to determine the “excess mortality” it caused, but the precautions, including cooling centers and misting …