tv Experts Testify on Extreme Heat Weather Conditions CSPAN July 21, 2021 8:01pm-9:36pm EDT
>> effects of extreme weather followed by defense secretary lloyd austin and chair general mark miller giving update on the u.s. troop withdrawal from afghanistan and other priorities for the defense department. later tsa officials testify on the summer travel season at this stage of the pandemic before house, insecurities subcommittee. climate research before the house science subcommittee about the impact of certain weather related events on public health. lawmakers heard about ways to address extreme heat, drought and flooding with upgraded infrastructure and emerging technology to more accurately predict weather patterns. this is one hour and a half. >> good morning and welcome to today's environment subcommittee
hearing to discuss the rising problems of extreme heat in the u.s. i'd like to welcome our esteemed witnesses for participating in this timely and important meeting. almost exactly a year ago this committee held a hearing on the intersections of extreme heat, covid-19 environmental justice. i wish i could say things have gotten better since then. while we can credit signs for the rapid development of multiple effective vaccines to combat covid-19, extreme heat has only worsened. vulnerable populations continue to be disproportionally impacted by boat. the recent record-breaking heat that devastated the pacific northwest shattered our expectations of the severity of extreme heat. temperatures reached 40 degrees above average in some places causing pavement debacle, streetcar cables to mount and at least 193 deaths across the region. one of our witnesses, doctor shanda went out and measure
temperatures during the heat dump and found in affluent neighborhoods reached 99 degrees compared to 120 degrees in neighborhoods in portland. the highest number of deaths occurred. most of these steps homeless, elderly, and also with underlying issues analysis team of researchers found no must have been nearly impossible without warming from greenhouse gases. this analysis showed 2 degrees celsius of warming would likely cause severe he offense like this to occur every five to ten years instead of once every 1000 euros. new research predicts generational heat waves could become annual event. extreme he is one of the clearest signals to global warming climate change making heat waves longer, more frequent and more intense extreme heat occurs alongside drought, wildfires and other climate
disasters in the west which is currently suffering from a historic and ugly and brutal wildfire season. in addition to extreme he offense with me, average temperatures are also on the rise across the u.s. with some regions warming faster than others. buster my district in new york city, temperatures have come up 3.3 degrees fahrenheit on average since the advent of satellite observation in the 1960s. the number of days a year in new york city with heat index of 90 degrees is predicted to increase from 60 to 51 by mid century with no action to combat greenhouse gas emission according to a report by the union of concerned scientists. climate change warming faster conveys across most of the u.s. this is particularly alarming for human health risks and collect nighttime conditions usually providing relief from a hot day, especially for those without air conditioning.
we need to consider 80s are even more susceptible to extreme heat and hot bites in rural areas because of environment and lack of education. services like pavement, excellent rooftops absorbed in rehab heat treating urban heat islands present temperatures up to 10 degrees higher than surrounding areas. as extreme heat wraps up in the grass, so to with heat related illnesses and death. extreme he is but the biggest natural disaster, killing more people than floods, tornadoes and other extreme weather events combined. the cdc officially reports more than 600 americans a year for other studies pointed to a severe unaccompanied number may be as many as part thousand heat related deaths in the u.s. with communities of color and low income communities most at risk. the home up effects of extreme heat to human health stresses are public health system and leads to worker productivity
loss costing our economy billions. sectors such as agriculture and utilities are also preferable. 2015, alongside cdc punished national integrated heat health information system or and i hhs. they worked to reduce u.s. heat risk by developing science -based product and services building capacity communication and public understanding of extreme heat. it also collaborated with other federal agencies city and state decision-makers to coproduce actionable information needed to inform their planning process. additionally, national weather service updated industries and watches, warnings and advisories. nws devised a prototype forecast to better keep medicaid for specific patient and identify the most at risk groups. epa publishes an excessive heat offense guidebook.
while some progress has been made in recent years, so much more remains to be done on the federal, state and local level. i look forward to hearing from witnesses today at the leading edge of the extreme heat research and solutions about the major research and coordination cap that remains in how additional investments and resources can help build them. the chair will not recognize for an opening statement. >> thank you, chairwoman and i want to recognize the full committee joining us monthly. thank you for holding today's timely and important hearing. our to think our witnesses for hearing before the subcommittee sharing expertise with us this morning. this summer, his dark heat waves across the u.s. have been making headlines week after week and the impacts of this happened tragic. outdoor businesses, business operations have been carved out of concern for operational safety resulting in significant economic losses. this comes on top of the crippling effects of the covid-19 pandemic we've already
seen. even more tragic is the number of lives lost in heat related deaths this summer alone. as a couple of witnesses will show from a heat related deaths of americans number fatalities connected to all other natural disasters. although climate change is likely making the occurrence of extreme heat more common, we cannot simply sit back and assess. with strategic planning from the public and private sector from negative effects heat waves and other extreme weather events can be better mitigated lives can be saved. one such example of a private entity acting now is tomorrow.i zero two ceo and cofounder here as a witness today. the national weather service provides important weather forecast warnings. it could be hard for people to interpret what this means for them as individuals. tomorrow.i owe helps alleviate the confusion by committee
getting weather forecast clear operationally focused manner. for example, tomorrow.i owe can monitor when and where will exceed threshold to make an electric with susceptible to outages. using this information to make more informed decisions regarding rate operations. the risk of a power outage conveyed to utility customers so they may prepare backup plans to stay cool. tomorrow.i owe was an excellent example of how commercial enterprises can successfully collaborate the federal government to accelerate technological advances and improve weather forecast as well as communication forecast. publicly available data and incorporate it into their own in-house models to provide more localized forecast. they also do so in this manner when utilized by government agencies to save millions in taxpayer dollars compared to an exclusive federal operation.
it's encouraging more public-private partnerships like this and save lives and money, then by all means we should do all we can to increase participation of the private sector. to close, i want to paint in a positive light because i believe progress often overlooked for attention grabbing headlines. it is important to remember the rising costs of disasters is closely related to the overall rise in economic development. extreme events are more costly because we have more infrastructure damage, not just because of the complex relationship between intensity and climate. in fact, direct economic losses from disasters as a proportion of global gdp have turned it down over the last 30 years. last week, this group published a report that predicted u.s. emission productions could reach as much as 3% below 2005 levels
by 2030, exceeding the paris board goal of the obama administration. we are on the right track and as always michael to make more progress but before we take every negative headlines as an unavoidable future, we should first understand what we have been doing right, we need to fix and how we can take action to ensure our positive trends continue. >> thank you and we were honored to have the book make chairwoman with us today and picture recognizes the chairwoman for an opening statement. >> good morning and let me welcome our witnesses and thank you for all of us running today. i'd like to welcome everyone to discuss a pressing problem of extreme heat.
my constituents and i prepare for high temperatures. they don't have what's needed to handle extremely hot temperatures. last month, news reports documented record-breaking heat in the pacific northwest. in portland, they were broken every day and the resulting in power lines in public transit. in washington state, extreme temperatures, regions where daily temperatures usually only reach about 70 degrees, so
temperatures reaching nearly 120 degrees. this heat according to the medical examiner, extreme temperatures killed over 100 people here alone because the mortalities for heat is so difficult, he related death toll is likely really much higher. with heat stress, often aggravated pre-existing medical conditions, these will be concentrated among our elderly and the very young. the young like last month, dangerous temperatures are a constant concern for many americans. one year ago, we held a hearing to discuss the intersection of
covid-19 extreme heat environmental deaths highlighting the unequal threat. historically, redline neighborhoods are going to hold to our most vulnerable minorities in these neighborhoods and air conditioning is rare, this leads to heat islands that can be as much as 7 degrees warmer than any other part of the city. the exposure to extreme heat and urban heat island and harm beyond just public health. extreme heat, it's always been linked to this. the prevalence of the island allows the u.s. to amplify the
heat stress from the optic and unreasonable warmth of his country, the northeast, some of its warmest june temperatures in almost a decade within a span of five months, texas went from the coldest temperatures on record and an unusually warm heat wave. these temperatures have led to energy failures, product storages and the lives of millions. we have seen the climate crisis happened right before us. addressing the extreme heat, federal agencies have a critical role to play. i look forward to the discussion with today's panel on how we can
afford these resources to address worsening extreme heat in the country. thank you and i yield back. >> thank you. if our members to wish submit statement, statements will be added to the record at this time. i like to introduce our witnesses. our first witness shabbos, a professor in the school of urban setting and planning. founder and director of staining urban places research lab oregon state university, and inter- trip is pulmonary, his expertise is in climate change and environmental justice, air quality management, green infrastructure and spatial mapping. doctor strongest focus on climate equity involved direct engagement with historically marginalized communities describing bubble stressors and effective approaches to improving accessibility to decision-making systems.
next, doctor melissa cordero, an assistant research professor juliann level institute of sustainability and innovation at arizona state university and works for the healthy urban environment initiative in exchange for resilience her research focuses on adaptation equity, phone about it, urban policy and governance for the mitigation and adaptation to extreme heat and urban heat island effect. currently working to create neighborhood heat solutions to improve thermal comfort and public health outcomes cities of phoenix, tempe and mesa as well as major conservative, maricopa county health department and community-based the permits. third witness -- the ceo and cofounder of tomorrow.i owe. he served in an israeli air force for 11 years. multiple near-death weather-related expenses during his service built a fascination
with the weather. tomorrow.i owe was founded as a often based climate security company to bridge the gap between forecast and decision-making working with customers including federal agencies, utilities, airline, on-demand services and professional sports teams. our final witness doctor aaron bernstein. the interim director of the center for climate health global environment at the harvard school of public health. a pediatrician at boston's children's hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at harvard medical school. doctor bernstein focuses on health impacts the climate crisis on children's health and advancing solutions. as our witnesses should know, he will each have five minutes for your spoken testimony. written testimony will be included in the record for the hearing. when you have completed your spoken testimony, who up working with questions. each member will have five minutes to question the panel and we will start with doctor
chandra's. >> thank you, i hope you can hear me okay. it is a real honor to testify here in front of you today. members of the subcommittee on the environment, i have been studying urban heat for the greater part of about 20 years now and admittedly it started with a big grant from the national bioscience foundation to refine our measurement systems, mapping technologies and getting myself a tenure at my first job. in the early work we relied heavily on satellite director inscriptions about how heat varied across the u.s. maintaining a rather technical approach in the field. over the past decade, we've relied more on hyper local descriptions of what's happening
in and around urban areas as you identify urban heat islands have been directly attributable to differences in temperature, many of which we've seen in larger parts of the country and this is really underscored by the number of deaths happening due to heat waves and the big part of which, i am turning my attention now to engaging unity based organizations in this work. as you likely have already heard, heat waves killed more people than any other natural disaster yet fema still doesn't recognize it as a national hazard. a lesser known fact is that it is a discriminating killer. we published work last year end continue to build on this work that shows historically the historical segregation policies such as redlining racial covenants and exclusionary coming promulgated in the 1930s
have enduring effects to this date isolate communities of color, immigrants and lower income bumps into area cities upwards that we've measured up 20 degrees fahrenheit harder than other parts of the city at the same time of day. just this month we learned as we were hearing that human caused climate change was directly implicated in the heat dump of it in the pacific northwest where during that event, i measured temperatures that were 25 degrees warmer than other parts of the city. i've seen firsthand increasingly hot days, temperature differential increases across the region. we can now say those who died during the heat dump event were arguably the first time related to this in washington. those who died blocked access to financial capitol, social network agent or injured bodies.
we knew who what die. i wrote a book report in 2009 stating as much and get agencies have little capacity for understanding for taking interaction on this wife. these and most all other heat related deaths are preventable as i think you will hear other testimonies today. we are not connecting the dots. i'd like to offer my opinion about the three things needed for reducing mortality and morbidity from urban heat. first, because we know people die in their household, we need hyper local data about where temperatures vary at the scale of the city block. we party mapped with unprecedented detail over 30 cities through a community based campaign and most cities are lacking is that evident with action. i like to propose is cost-effective and highly engaging campaign so communities can socialize the concept as a
silent killer and local data and fan being able to take immediate action to move forward on infrastructure and social programs. second, we need to integrate our understanding of heat with social infrastructure vulnerabilities urban regions face. u.s. cities generally are not designed for the kind of heat we are starting to see as infrastructure ages we have the opportunity to upgrade systems we depend on and make them more climate resilient engaging committees based organizations in the process. from in front of the most important part of addressing urban he is a coordinated response. probably most municipalities do not have a single way to coordinate heat action which then falls upon nobody making our ability to save off heat related mortality more challenging. emerging evidence in the pacific northwest heat pipe is the case. the same is true at the federal level while both noah and epa have extensive resources for communities to understand urban
heat, we still have limited coordination across federal bureaus. i would encourage you in my last statement to think about connecting the dots across the federal bureau so we can support local municipalities taking immediate action on this silent killer. thank you and i get back. >> next is doctor what are. >> good morning members of the house committee and time space and technology, thank you for inviting me today. i am bringing testimony by working and learning from communities located in the nations hottest large metropolitan area phoenix, arizona. we are on the front lines for extreme heat. how to break down extreme heat as two different yet similar issues. urban i would affect as a result of the organization for the city retains heat during the day and
slowly released that night. many urban heat islands within the city with temperatures ranging as much as 13 degrees or more. strategies for reducing urban heat include increasing shading and fermenting heat. extreme heat is amplified by climate change. average temperatures have been increasing steadily and predicted to be longer and harder. climate change reduction includes commission reduction in energy efficiency measures such as weatherization programs. it's important to address both urban heat advent effects on climate change together in a systematic matter. the principle is how people experience heat as they moved through their day. optimizing people thermal comfort, further he needs to address two different timescales. in the agency action and cooling for people and long term programs that can create a
warming future. long-term strategies are meant to build the environment and includes infrastructure building urban forestry, city management as you see management devoted exclusively to managing extreme heat in the cities of phoenix and miami. extreme he is had not experienced equally within the city. residents in low income neighborhoods live in housing often energy inefficient and cooling systems challenged by energy and security had a greater proportion of income% on electricity. mobile home residents are especially heat vulnerable. a recent study revealed in maricopa county, arizona, mobile homes comprised of 5% of the housing yet accounted for 28% of it. affordable flipping housing is a critical factor for health safety. our marginalized groups have
starkly covered the most, they are often left out of the climate planning process. the cooling system product was incremented in three underserved neighborhoods to develop hyper local community action plans including storytelling planning process revealing different needs and communities despite relatively similar socioeconomic profiles. federal investments are needed to prepare urban communities for extreme heat and assist in adaptation to a warmer future similar to the storm productions center, extreme heat center is needed to coordinate national efforts to understand and respond to impacts of extreme heat. like the national weather service strong pretty communities, supporting the scaling up of healthy environment funding these programs. this program is positive right now and provides a tool to simply manage how cities identify, prepare for and mitigate responding to the
dangers of urban heat. there's a great heat for coordination across jurisdictions to ensure a regional, not competitive city by city approach is undertaken. regional working groups established not only to develop solutions but develop critical social infrastructure and often overlook component building momentum for transformational change. it's difficult to understand the human concept without additional efforts. there are differences in how it's counted within the same period. resulting in the cdc reporting 618 nationally, noah reporting less than 150 and meanwhile in arizona where more comprehensive surveillance established, 520 deaths were reported in 2020. these discrepancies indicate we are underestimating the scale due to extreme heat and undercounting cost of economic development in human health and quality of life on a national
scale. research program providing greater understanding of the economic impact of extreme heat to help build a business piece for. coordination between epa, noah and fema to recognize this provide better privatization part of our emergency response and long-term mitigation adaptation efforts. we need to act now to provide extreme heat for the most vulnerable populations and extreme heat in a systemic manner acknowledging the nature of extreme heat collectivity factors. thank you again for giving me the opportunity to testify. >> next, we have pfister -- >> thank you and good morning members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify
before you today. it's an honor to be here to discuss the rising problem of extreme heat in the grass. i was born and raised in israel served an israeli air force for 11 years buying helicopters and have seen firsthand how the weather forecast negligently impacts unit and in fact, i faced multiple near-death expenses related to the problem. the climate security companies because he wanted to improve reit bridging the gap but working for the cosmos ranging from federal agencies, airlines, supply chain services and professional sports teams. extreme heat by climate change is a challengers infecting more people than ever before. businesses, rail operators for example have to avoid trucks from electric utility utilities have increased demand initially,
agriculture north under industries definitely impacted improving weather forecast and decision-making are critical minimizing impact on people, infrastructure. tomorrow we seek three key components improving their response by the time of the hazards. the committee which means the observation models with the forecast today's global weather and bipartisan support of this yet work remains to be done. second i encourage the committee to support a programs like noah and commercial whether which has been successful thank you to members of the committee but also to broaden the scope and take advantage of expanding
commercial capabilities. in our case, launching a first of its kind global consolation, small satellites equipped with the radar. noah has indicated of its greatest challenges is the need to improve the forecast for whether to climate. third, i encourage the committee to continue to explore new ways to government into private sector innovations. this is more open ways that allow industries to innovate these challenges. this includes enabling government agencies to leverage private sector technologies and increased resilience for extreme weather and climate. to that, tomorrow i owe developed a unique platform for high resolution with more importantly, transform the weather data into actionable decisions for our customer. this time i'd like to show the committee but the platform helps users adjust operations and deal
with extreme heat and other weather phenomena. >> without objection. >> thank you, there are some technical difficulties. i will try again. unfortunately, we have technical difficulties so we will continue. the weather intelligence platform and high resolution level weather data and provides other forecast for all, not just heat. while we are proving the accuracy of our past in advance technology, what we learned is focusing exclusively on accuracy and weather data is not an option. since most individuals businesses or governmental agencies have trouble understanding weather data and what it means and that's why we developed the concept of weather intelligence. from our excessive experience helping customers, we've translated this and best
practices. we can help a trucking company from new jersey to oklahoma by telling them when to delay or avoid routes, avoid excessive heat. we can help a city like dallas with precautionary measures specific to each and sure worker safety during extreme popular offense it's a small example of how our capabilities today work and it will become even more powerful as satellite comes online. i want to thank the committee for the time and leadership for addressing these issues. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you and finally, doctor bernstein. >> thank you, chairwoman. thank you for your remarks.
thank you for the opportunity to testify before off the members of the subcommittee. today i'd like to start my testimony with an anecdote that occurred during the hottest stretch of the hottest june in boston's history just this year. a mom approached me with a toast total to be totally reasonable question. was it safer for her child to play outside? that's a question i imagine many of you who are parents have probably not thought twice about ms your children have grown up in hot parts of the country but i can tell you for my expense, it's a question most parents certainly in the northern part of the country have had to take seriously. i know full well what he can do to a child's body, it can shut down any organ, children with asthma will have a hard time breathing, children with kidney disease may have kidneys fail and even children, adolescents in particular who are depressed may take their life because of heat and there's evidence that
suggest heat may be something gross and development but none of that enabled me to help this mother protect her child. at this late date when we can already plainly see how human caused climate change is influencing the severity of heat in our country, we simply do not have the knowledge we need to protect our most vulnerable citizens answers to questions like this mother's are urgent for a number of reasons, many of which my fellow panelists, as well as instructor marks have made clear, we know heat is lethal and heat waves are going to get more prevalent and severe in the coming decades. he can come in surprising ways come up with focus on mortality which is a worthy and critical to recognize that heat has been associated with everything from life-threatening bacterial
bloodstream infections, infant mortality, injuries, not just outdoor workers but indoor workers, soldiers and a variety of other ailments. it's fast enough now that we can see additional harm within a generation. across the united states having such in a place like cleveland where it's above 90, above 90 as the heat index maybe half a dozen times this year by 2050, it's expected to be 20 or more and in places like houston, there are ten days of the heat index over 150 without robust action on climate there may be six. the second cause for urgency is why we have a tremendous improvement in mortality around the country over the past few decades, as evidenced mortality trends are reversing
particularly in southern southeastern states. johnson's comments about texas and people being prepared are absolutely true, we see a gross differential across the southern from northern states but we also see alarming trend in some of the hardest parts of our country, calibrates are growing up especially in certain populations not typically risks between 45 -- 64. another knock on effect of heat needs to be watched carefully the effect on electricity prices in portland and other parts of northwest, prices went up by fourfold. that's a progressive check tax on the part we know people who have air conditioning may not be turned on when it gets hot out price in electricity can increase. we've heard a great deal about disproportionate effects of uncertain populations in the country, we know people of color
particularly black americans are exposed on average 2 degrees celsius temperature more heat than others rates of mortality among people of color writer and others black americans seen three times more likely particularly indigenous people in this country, six times more so we have a tremendous amount for health, equity and informing our economy and we can do much more and to start with, i'd love to tell the families i care for what temperatures to caution for the children's health. we can do that with support through nih and support through noah and provide more localized, as we have heard, productions around heat. we have to leverage the healthcare sector and use resources and medicare and medicaid to incentivize providers who know the conditions that put people at risk for heat, have direct lines of communication to them and mobilize the resources to make sure we get to our most vulnerable citizens. finally, i have two underscore
when we look in the solutions space, we are quick to ask how much implementation will cost but we rarely take full accounting of the benefits of our actions. urban reading is a particular important example of this, yes urban reading can cool down which we have heard are critical but also can improve air quality and reduce runoff infested with water and can even improve mental health and carry a host of other benefits so i urge you to consider if you think about the path forward to take an accounting of what's at stake for help and equity so we can provide for the healthiest future possible. >> thank you. at this time we will begin our first round of questions and i will recognize myself for five minutes. the record shattering heat dump in the pacific northwest revealed vulnerabilities in local infrastructure with pavement buckling and cabled melting. in new jersey and neighboring districts, heat waves are
usually accompanied by power outages. with extreme heat worsening across the u.s. i'm worried the infrastructure suffer additional consequences. how well do we understand infrastructure warner bros. in urban centers and what kind of evidence do we need to build to inform climate resilient infrastructure decisions? >> thank you. infrastructure in our city, as we well know is designed with a specific range of climate in mind infrastructure is made and hvac systems in buildings are made with this essentially boundary condition that allows buildings to operate in specific ways, roads, rail lines and etc. when the boundary conditions are extended, that's where we see cascading effects of infrastructure failure like the heat dump and examples that were
brought up so often what we have done in our cities built around those conditions and when we are seeing these for that specific set of conditions, we are going to be seen more intense shift that happened. in the pacific northwest, many of us were holding on to ourselves thinking what else is about to break? we all knew the building, roads, cables and etc. were not designed with that particular level of heat in mind so generally speaking, infrastructure is woefully inadequate to manage the level of heat we are seeing and the concern i have is the multiplicity of factors at play here. heat is one thing but as other panelists identified coupled with other serious climate
induced threats like wildfire, family will have to ask my dry open the windows at night and but polluted air in as i sleep? cooler polluted air and close the windows bake in my own home, those were big trade-offs within the infrastructure system we have right now in many of our cities so what we need to think about is to get down to where individuals, households, businesses and public health agencies can identify specific places where it might be hazardous to go during specific times of the day. we don't have that granularity of information where if a parent is walking their child to school on a hot day they take road x or y, ten to 15 to degrees cooler,
they might run into serious health related impacts taking road x versus y. that is an evidence-based that we need to get to and groups like tomorrow.i owe and hours happen narrowly defining them get to where we can see that level of difference will really advance our ability to make informed decisions by the intervention will be most effective for the communities hardest hit. >> want to get to one more question in addition to these materials pavement more heat resilient, how can these solutions help lower temperatures in urban areas? >> infrastructure can help lower temperatures in areas and you can have something increasing in the right place where people are
to make it a people centered approach would be effective not only in lowering temperatures but also increasing people's comfort and there are other benefits that clean the air, infrastructure helps management but we also must take into account this view, infrastructure needs to be balanced with usage and we need to make sure we are using planting principles and places where people are if they move through their day. there's an interesting study by a colleague of mine has had regardless of infrastructure and lower temperature, people see green infrastructure, they actually feel cooler select an area we could use a lot more research into taking the information we have about the air surface temperature and putting it in on how that impacts people's perception and thermal comfort. >> my time has run out so i am
not going to recognize ranking member of our subcommittee five minutes. >> in my state of oklahoma i know a thing or two about extreme weather. may 1999 the strongest tornado ever reported developed in oklahoma. that said, technology has been developed as an early warning system for tornadoes that saved thousands of lives across the country. can you help us understand what kind of data in weather patterns you look for when examining extreme heat predictions? does the federal government, whether noaa, nasa or a service branch have the tools to provide that data. >> from technology perspective, for extreme heat is less challenging, some think the agencies in the community are doing quite well. we do not differentiate from
this perspective between forecasting any phenomenon. i do think we need to think about the problem into dimension. long-term and short-term. long-term yes, we definitely need to make sure infrastructure can sustain climate change and improve the infrastructure so we can produce it better. abstract tomorrow i'm launching a satellite but what i want to highlight is focusing on phenomenons, the intelligence and we are already in this and takes us to the short term. we can do a lot to prevent damages and casualties by putting in place extreme heat into actionable insight. any city, any educational school
universities can have information and place on a weekly calendar, daily and hourly calendar what to do and what precautionary measures rats take to avoid damages because the knowledge indicated, we arty know the connection between the weather and impacts, now we need to put systems in place week can be proactive in this is what we are looking at. >> thank you. you talked a little earlier about monitoring temperatures in urban areas, can you speak to how you would anticipate being able to do that on a block by block basis although it can be helpful, i think scalable would be the question i would have for you. >> thank you for the question. there are two different ways and complementary ways to do block
by block measurements as we have done. one is something we've used for a very long time and the satellite-based approach, satellite ready line around the planet describe as relatively scaling what's happening within a city block. we can get 30-meter resolution from satellite imagery to describe what surface temperature is in specific places. the other is to monitor air temperature and fattest the campaign we spent engaged with and it really has two components. one is a community-based data collection process when we engage with environmental and social justice organizations within cities who might not have a direct interest or relevant to heat and we work with the communities and municipality to go collect hundreds of thousands of measurements in one specific
day in a place that socializes the concept and cap also gives us granular data data we have not been able to see, unprecedented to this day in fact combined with stationary sensors where we can drive by and combine spatial and temporal variability, we can see when i heat wave coming how one neighborhood or city block is going to fare far worse than another particular part of the city. >> my time is short so i want to make sure i get one more quick question in, it's interesting you mention satellite, he's talking about this in his company, can you talk a little bit how renewable energy companies can use weather data like tomorrow.i owe offers to opera nice and how can protect lives and property during weather events? >> the most, the biggest challenge we have is what they
can generate on any given day directly correlated to the weather so by having more accurate weather forecasts, they can better focus that and serve the customers so when you think about extreme heat, the supply find themselves without the capacity to support, it can be a big challenge. we are supporting by providing more finely tuned weather forecasts for the renewable company we are providing historic so we can train this relationship between historical weather data and production and then use regularly unless you learn this. >> thank you and i'm afraid time is expired so the chairwoman of the full committee for five minutes.
>> can you discuss climate change impacting extreme heat event the west? moving forward, it seems to me though we looked at certain areas of the country, it's getting to be more commonplace around the country. the effective parts of the country where such as arizona, northwest recently texas, can you elaborate on how the heat from parts of america already respond to stress in our these lessons we've learned can be used from one city to another
through some way the federal government spreads this information to these communities? i believe we have a copy summer and i realize some areas of the country have not been as accustomed to this heat but i think it shows up anywhere. >> thank you. the relationship between climate change and heat is getting more and more resolved and what we are seeing is this in the pacific northwest not only broke record but climate models. the models are relatively conservative being able to look at the probabilities between what a greenhouse gas emitted
earth like and that probably has become unequivocally here about the role climate change and greenhouse gases played in the heat dome with experienced and also for the other heat waves are likely to see coming this summer. in terms of relationship between some parts of the country having had a lot more experience than others, i would like to doctor what aro for the work going on in arizona and other parts that are really hot so i would quickly note that one of the challenges we've noticed during this work nationally looking at high resolution temperature is that regional coordination is very challenging right now. federal municipalities are working largely on their own, often based on their own goodwill and to be able to get ahead of us. right now they really don't see a lot of support from the
federal government to be able to create a regional entity that could help different municipalities in a particular bioclimatic dome of the country get ahead of this, these heat waves comics are part of what i would really underscore and emphasize a need for creating regional networks of municipal planners that could learn from each other and share those lessons across the country. doctor, did you want to contribute to that as well? >> thank you. certainly it's hot in arizona and we have been dealing with this for quite a long time and the weather we explains in arizona is certainly going to be the normal for other regions in the country so there are some great lessons to be learned how we approach heat. first of all, our buildings are built with the idea that this is a hot climate, all housing is
built with central air conditioning. we understand we have to provide thermal place for people. it doesn't mean just shape another structures as well. when we look to public transit, make sure we are going to get shading in public transit so the infrastructure to some extent is the way we approach it as very normal. when you build playgrounds, he would have a covering shield children from extreme heat so my advice would be other municipalities learn from what we have done in the region to address it. that said, we still have a long way to go in arizona to make sure we keep people safe. the other areas i think the federal government could be helpful is helping formulate regional working groups that
could help municipalities, not in a competitive environment because one has a forrester program and the other doesn't and it rapidly coming over the city. we have to make sure we are not allowing people shop, if you will, areas within one region that have lesser regulations or political will to address the urban heat. >> thank you. excuse me, madam chair? >> thank you very much an ideal back my time. >> thank you in fact chair recognizes mr. hammett for five minutes. >> thank you. five minutes.
>> thank you to all our witnesses for the testimony and sharing extensive research on these experiences and support and subject. the issue of severe weather is important to my district, farmers are highly attuned to seasonable weather changes and patterns. the ability to prepare for extreme weather is very important. just as elsewhere in the country, my district and i will has been higher than average temperatures this summer as well as moderate to drought conditions. these conditions require advanced preparations for farmers and ranchers. you describe how your other intelligence platform can monitor and provide operating accommodations for various sectors in your testimony. what sort of capabilities of the platform provide for agricultural community and specifically the supply chain when it comes to transporting
livestock and perishable goods? >> thank you. i come from a family of farmers myself so this is near and dear to my heart. we are doing two things, one is improving weather forecasting in a way basically creating more observations and running our own models in the crowd, fine-tune the forecast but as you indicated, the insides provide, it relates to cleansing irrigation, fertilizing, let's look at a single example and after hours, rain washes it away, so that provides a weekly calendar with accommodations for the farmer about what to do, not necessarily what's the weather so this is helpful and you can
automate algorithms and get specific combinations. in the context of supply chain where working with supply chain companies. we are helping drop deficiencies around when is the best time to do drive and avoid heat food spoilage in areas that. ... these type of grouts have affected wind energy in recent
years in the united states and europe. with increased extreme heat do we see these increasing in frequency? if anyone could take that question, i would appreciate it. >> we can take that question for the record and have our experts get you an answer. >> appreciate that. one other question much of the testimony focused on the impact of high temperatures on urban populations given that cities tend to have higher temperatures as compared to the surrounding rural areas. i agree with the issues with significant concern especially sioux city and ames iowa i also worry about the unique challenges people in rural areas face for example rural populations are more spread out, meaning some are socially
isolated and for communal center cooling. have any witnesses given thought to this and how we cannot only promote heat ready cities but also communities in my regions in my rural areas? >> thank you for that question. while we talk about urban heat, extreme heat is everywhere in rural areas as well and again we need to look at that at the two different time scales. you have an immediate emergency concern so when there is an extreme heat event or a period where it's extraordinarily hot you need to provide cooling for people and one of the ways to do that is to have a robust cooling center network. there are examples. arizona is one such case where you could be able to provide
cooling. even though people are spaced out and you could also have a network of people helping so in our case we have had all sorts of community members step up including a utility company. long-term solutions provide cooling spaces along the way. to provide cooler spaces and handle long-term mitigation adaptations. >> thank you so much for your comments, and i will yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. kyl mr. kilby for five minutes. >> thank you, for holding this important hearing. i've been toggling back and forth with lots of things going on today so if my question is redundant, i apologize. over seven years ago in my hometown, a water crisis emerged.
my hometown is flint michigan. the children were affected by the crisis and exposed to high levels of lead that poses significant health risks particularly in their development. what was not as well-known in the water crisis that there was an outbreak and as a result of the crisis. michigan again is experiencing a surge. the michigan department of health announced legionnaires disease cases in the first weeks of july were up 569% from the same period a year ago. michigan officials attribute this in cases to rain, flooding and warmer weather, warmer temperatures. environmental health and climate experts have been warning whether more volatile water
cycles allows for an environment for waterborne bacteria to thrive. so doctor bernstein, i wonder if you can see the ways in which climate chains in particular heat can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and waterborne illnesses such as legionnaires' disease. >> thank you for that question, representative. as you mentioned extreme weather that is particularly true in places like the representative in iowa and particularly mississippi where we see heavy drought. followed by heavy downpours causing runoff that causes bacteria in the water that's probably the clear signal we have in the country climate change affects. we also see coastal areas.
the congresswoman of miami, the risks of harmful algae blooms affected by heat. much of it is going to the oceans. people may be in those waters and people that have breathing problems breathe those in and get sick. heat is a major issue for wildfire smoke we know but also through a pathway that involves diseases of trees so we see the movement of these on trees. they make them more vulnerable and that air pollution is a major driver of respiratory infections. this is a pathway leading to death. we saw a lot of evidence around the pandemic people had been breathing the polluted air and are more likely to die that is true every winter with the flu and other respiratory
conditions. heat of course makes it possible for others like the tics that transmit diseases like lyme disease. we've certainly seen that in this country already. and i think critically in one area that i would -underscore is here is a major threat to healthcare. we know that heat is driving power outages and hospitals and clinics particularly in rural areas are not equipped to deal with power outages very well and that means people who have infections are more likely to have bad outcomes and we need to get our heads around what it means to healthcare through research. >> i was going to ask that. can you suggest specific areas of research where we can explore further the linkage and receive outbreaks? >> that is a critical piece. i actually want to pick up on something the representative said. to be perfectly blunt, we don't know how to protect rural americans from the heat. knowledge is not going to save
us. i'm a big proponent of knowledge and we can have all the data we want but if we don't know how to implement it and whether those strategies work, it isn't very helpful. so we have to get information about what the temperatures matter but we need a better understanding of what kind of interventions matter so that means we need to get the cdc to work with noel to implement and assess these things. we need the healthcare system. we spent 4 trillion by our own estimates a quarter of that is up for for preventable diseases. that's a trillion bucks we are throwing down the drain. can we please put some of that to invest and protect citizens without spending any more money. so there is a huge need to get a handle on this and one last point here is it's going up and rate of medication uses going through the roof and you know what the evidence we have his ismedication may be increasing risk.
speaking about heat exposure but a personal medication is far more likely to get sick and the public health agencies need to understand people like me prescribing drugs to everybody else or causing unnecessary harm -- >> thank you. i'm afraid the gentleman's time has expired. and so the next i turned to -- the chair recognizes mr. gonzalez for five minutes. >> thank you chairwoman and ranking member for holding the hearing today. and to the witnesses for joining us. it's clear extreme heat waves can have societal and economic impacts and with the recent events in the pacific northwest it is essential we think critically about how we prepare for the future and mitigate these risks. i think we are all seeing now fires every year. it's becoming a routine part of life on the west coast and is something we should all be concerned with. can't imagine raising a young kid out there knowing you are
going to have these wildfires and all of the smoke that comes with that. your company is at the center of this data model and ultimately to relate to clients in a user-friendly way. have you faced any obstacles helping clients respond to the information your company provides to them? >> thank you. so definitely part of our innovation comes from the things that are challenges and we engage with customers so at the beginning it was mostly around how to make whether a forecast is more hyper or local. when we engage with customers we learn about 90% are not equipped to understand the data even if i give the aqi they wouldn't be able to do that.
first is the translation of the data working with football clubs and leagues and such and what kind of connection to get to the audience and such but the more interesting element how do you make sure you truly get the right information at the right time because even if you have all of the knowledge there's a gap making sure the right individual gets the decision at the right time and that is what we are focused on and we develop that interface in two ways, one for visual, basically a person that looks at the screen and makes the decisions but also so we can integrate to other systems and other systems can be everything from streetlights to sewage systems and devices so
they can be proactive and we make decisions ahead of what's coming and that is how we are solving this for the customers and we can solve it for the government agencies has your party partnered with any local or state governments and are there any issues limiting their ability to take action on these warnings when they come through? >> in the city of quincy here in boston where we suffer in the center from heat events like we were just talking about from snow removal challenges find this is pretty useful and we are working with governmental agencies and others. i don't seem regulatory issues around using those.
>> thank you. one gap in the understanding of extreme heat is the lack of ability to prevent with a maximum high temperature in the region may experience and how long that high temperature can persist. what progress have you made in addressing this issue and how is at all can federal agencies help? >> scientifically, we do not have evidence that we were able to prove that a specific element. however, we are working on technologies around the modeling. we are working on together with other partners and hope by putting this model in the cloud it will help the community further integrate and find solutions. >> let's look at the west coast. the forecast for the west coast
is dependent on what is happening in the pacific two days ago, three days ago and before that. we know that the oceans are blind to active radar and we do not have accurate monitoring of tropical storms from hurricanes to cyclones and others over the ocean. it's highly limited so. including the problem you just mentioned. >> we wish you luck in that endeavor and i appreciate your testimony and yield back. >> the chair now recognizes you for five minutes. >> thank you, chair cheryl and ranking member for the witnesses for joining us for this timely hearing. the unprecedented heat wave in the northwest was a natural disaster that tragically claimed
the lives of 115. most are preventable and we owe it to their family and friends to take action. like the low income neighborhoods surrounded by concrete and seniors who lack air conditioning to stay cool. [inaudible] officials acknowledge 750 who called the information line during the heat wave were unable to connect and public transit was suspended that prevented
people from getting rides to cooling centers. you've been doing research for decades [inaudible] i hope my colleagues on the committee will join committing to the comprehensive science-based buybacks. i know you collected a local heat data you measured the air temperature of 124 degrees in southeast portland 25 degrees higher than around the same time in the neighborhood. how could this type of data help to invest and improve the resilience for that? >> it's wonderful to see you.
this work has about three parallel lines and i will try to summarize them briefly. we have many different ways to measure heat. it might seem obvious in talking about heat but as we continue to unpack and think about the satellite approach and ground-based approach, community members as well as municipal planners and state agencies are really grappling with what is the, quote, best way to measure heat. so we are deep in this process of trying to reconcile a lot of the different approaches that are currently being used, so that is a scientific foundation upon which decisions can be really promulgated and second is to base these measurements and interpretation with the communities that are hardest hit with this extreme heat and often times those that are hardest hit are often saying i have weathered a heat event before or it gets hot and i just deal with
it. that's where we start seeing areas like the midwest communities not prepared and socialized with the understanding of the implications of heat and so places where they can get this information and also be engaged in the interpretation of what's happening locally is essential so grounding this in the approach is a second parallel track and then third is to think about as i mentioned a little bit earlier a coordination network within particular regions of the country for example the pacific northwest we've been talking to folks from northern washington state over to idaho down to southern parts of oregon to really get a handle on what does it mean to be and barking upon the heat and mitigation strategies and understanding what is effective in this region which may be different than what is effective in the southwest and southeast and northeast midwest et cetera. so we want to create these
regional hubs of heat practitioners, planners and public health agencies that can really bring this -- >> i don't want to interrupt you, but i have a few questions and you led me to my last question. [inaudible] to improve coordination of the federal level what are the current gaps to those resources and how can we close those gaps? >> i would point us to the national heat health information system bringing together different agencies including fema, epa, noaa, cdc to really address this coordinated approach. we see the federal government bringing the coordinated attention to this. i think with the local municipalities will start to do is also reduced the silos that
are currently in place in different bureaus which is at the core of a lot of developing preventable approaches to heat deaths. >> thank you very much. my time is expired. the chair recognizes mr. kasten for five minutes. >> thank you madam chair and thank you to the witnesses. i must say part of this whole hearing that makes me very sad it makes me sad because i think the three biggest single days above the baseline mortality were 9/11 and nearly 3,000 people. hurricane katrina at 1800 and the 1995 chicago heat wave that killed several hundred and so much of what the doctor was talking about what makes me sad is that this isn't new. in 1995 the people who died were
the least among us. it was people who couldn't afford air conditioning, people who didn't have social networks checking in on them. since 1991 we have emitted all of the co2 as a species and we learn how to make a fire in a million years ago and we are talking a good game, but at some point future generations are going to watch if we've moved. i'm sorry to bring this down and be sad but i want to use that to rest a little bit to you. university of chicago the policy institute has done this interesting work i'm sure you are familiar with on the social cost of carbon and how these change regionally if you look to see where these inequities and costs are some of the costs are
functions of social policy questions where do we plant trees, what do we do for building codes and we can fix those legislatively. some of these issues are only solved by relocation. as you've looked at your data following up on what the congresswoman asked about the hyper local questions, have you thought at all about how to quantify the solutions we should be thinking about in the social questions and to what degree, is it more cost-effective to think about providing people opportunities to relocate? >> the extent to which it's been brought up a lot around sea level rise and active in the
literature and we have yet to see those implemented with various tribes and they are considering retreating from that coastal zone. the main discussions happening is around the social policy and the potential intervention that could be affected. right now we have a lot of modeling data about what specific interventions might ameliorate temperatures at the city block level or district level. yet we don't have very much empirical evidence on that right now. we are embarking on a project with the institute to look at building better being designed
and developed and monitoring those in such a way whether there's blue-green or water features or specific geometries or configurations of the building so we are embarking upon that right now. there's off-the-shelf things. the social policy questions are at the core of it and if the communities are going taking a step into this will depend on government guidance -- i want to point out a lot of the areas you see this are areas because of redlining so there is a reverse redlining you mentioned issues
less than deathlike workplace mortality. they are starting to see some evidence of increased issues with rising heat. any comments on the time we have left for areas with further research on that front? >> we need to very much understand much more so for the rural areas and urban areas. we need to focus on the ties between the economic effects for the economic productivity is and gdp and as a result of heat and those are compounded by individual effects at the same place the economy is getting hit but critically again, we need to focus on understanding what we can do to mitigate heat and i
underscored that it's hard to have this conversation talking about all we can do to essentially adapt when it's clear the single best thing we can do to address all of the above is to prevent the animations in the first place. it will be far more effective than the prescriptions -- >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> i will yield back. >> next i would like to recognize mr. chris for five minutes. >> thank you madam chair and to all of the witnesses for being with us today. in cities across the country the summer of 21 is off to the hottest stars on record. dangerously high temperatures hammered the west worsening existing drought and wildlife conditions leading to nearly 200 heat related deaths. in my home state of florida or sunshine neighboring welcome north in the winter but it can be pretty darn hot in the summer. last month as a matter of fact the index reached 108 degrees
prompting them to issue a hazardous weather outlook. a recent study from the university of florida found heat related deaths occur year-round in florida. this problem requires a national response. that's why i'm working with our colleagues in the senate, senator markey of massachusetts for the preventing heat illness and deaths act. this will formalize and expand the integrated heat health information system as well as establish an interagency committee to oversee federal efforts to address extreme heat. can you speak to the importance of developing an integrated federal approach to reducing the impacts of extreme heat? >> sure. and i will be cautious as i took up too much time last time. the need for coordination has never been greater in this particular realm. i have witnessed far too many
times a conversation with one federal agency that then gets referenced and replicated with a different federal agency so i'm seeing the kind of sport and differences across federal agencies and lack of conversations and coordinated approach that's happening even within agencies that are down the street from each other physically and so to connect the human health component which is cdc and bring together noah and epa that can move on the policy and support local communities in taking action and of course fema who's there to be able to identify the hazards and bring resources to the table so the coordinated approach would lead to a research base into an understanding of what the potential implications are for heat and then leading to the policy and the investments that could really safeguard the
community. establishments are in place and it really is about how do we move forward. i applaud your bill for that particular entity. >> that's very kind of you and i would also like to know how good the national integrated heat health information system be best leveraged as a mechanism and entity for improving coordination? >> there are two things that could happen and come to mind. we've talked about information and we are still in a variety of different sources that's an essential component is while it's not enough it is important to be able to gather, synthesize and as we've heard before, but the information in ways that are really accessible, understandable by local municipalities.
there's all kind of techniques and ways we develop communication strategies for doing that kind of work. second is the idea of being able to be a lot more focused on the implementation side of it. what are the strategies working on specific parts of the region. how can they take what we've learned from the southwest for example and better adapt to heat. and how do we better prepare for heat so these are both the information as well as the implementation dimensions that i think are central to what they will bring to the table. >> thank you very much. finally, doctor bernstein what steps would you like to see the federal government take to address the rising health risks of extreme heat? >> to incentivize healthcare systems to do more to keep
people safe, in medicare for instance the incentives to provide high-quality care for the various conditions which are largely targeted heat is a major driver of hospitalization emergency use, but yet we don't incentivize providers to act so we could use a massive investment of taxpayer dollars often used for preventable dollars like heat to get the health care system engaged in this problem. heat alerts and cooling centers is whether they protect most vulnerable and between the qualified health centers there are avenues to get to the folks most likely to be harmed who may be least likely to get heat alerts or information from other data sources. >> thank you, doctor and madame chair. >> before we bring the hearing to a close i want to thank the
debate on an infrastructure spending package but failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to move forward. every republican voted against the motion to proceed as negotiations on a bipartisan bill continue off the floor. senate majority leader chuck schumer changed his vote to know in order to have the same procedural vote again at a later time. the group of senators working on that bipartisan infrastructure will put out the following statement shortly after today's procedural vote failed saying we will continue working hard to ensure we get this critical legislation right and are optimistic that we will finalize and be prepared to advance. this is historic proposal to strengthen america's infrastructure and create good paying jobs in the coming days.
you think this is just a community center? know, it's more than that. comcast is partnering with a thousand community centers to create wi-fi enabled buildings so students from low income families get the tools they need to be ready for anything. comcast supports c-span as a public service along with other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. defense secretary lloyd austin n and general mark meli the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff briefed reporters today at the pentagon. they talked about the afghanistan troop withdrawal and efforts to relocate the military's afghan interpreters to the united states. and also a new book reporting that general millie feared president trump would carry out a coup after losing the election. >> thanks to all of you for coming today. i'd like to start by talking