What Would Happen If It Was 116 Degrees in San Francisco?

53 min
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People view the sun set as a child drinks from a water bottle on June 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, California as temperatures soar in an early-season heatwave.  (Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images)

Last week temperatures hit 116 degrees in Portland, 108 in Seattle, and 121 degrees in western Canada. According to news reports, nearly one billion sea animals may have cooked to death in British Columbia. San Francisco, a similarly temperate climate, has had its own moments of extreme heat. It reached 106 degrees during the 2017 heat wave, breaking all previous records. But what would happen if San Francisco’s temperatures reached as high as Portland's did last week? How would roads, bridges and the health system respond to 116 degree temperatures? Could the electrical grid manage to stay on line? We’ll talk to a panel of experts about what a future with extreme heat looks like and what we should be doing to prepare.

Guests:

Molly Peterson, editor, NPR's California Newsroom

Dr. David Eisenman, director, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Center for Public Health and Disasters

Vivek Shandas, professor, Portland State University; founder and director, Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR)

Brian Garcia, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service SF Bay Area/Monterey

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