tv Experts Testify on Extreme Heat Weather Conditions CSPAN July 22, 2021 12:42am-2:17am EDT
year ago exactly one this committee held a hearing on the intersections of extreme heat, not covid-19 and environmental justice. and with multiple effective vaccines to call that covid-19 extreme he has only worsened and vulnerable populations continue to be disproportionately impacted. the recent record-breaking heat that devastated the pacific northwest shatter the expectations of extreme heat. but then at least 193 dust across the region but in affluent neighborhoods a reach 99 degrees compared to 120 degrees in the neighborhoods important land.
and those with underlying health issues. the rapid analysis found the pacific northwest would have been impossible without warming from greenhouse gases. this analysis shows 2 degrees celsius would cause severe heat events to occur every five or ten years instead of once of everyone thousand years. and generational heat waves can become annual events extreme he is a clear signal of global warming with climate change making gateways longer and more asked intense with wildfires and other climate disasters and suffering from a historic drought.
average temperatures are on the rise across the us was some rising faster than others like in my district in new york city temperatures have gone of three.3 degrees on average since the 19 sixties. with a heat index of 90 degrees is predicted by midcentury with no effort to combat greenhouse gas emissions and then even warming faster than days across the us this is alarming for human health risks as cooler nighttime conditions usually provide relief from a hot day and especially for those without air-conditioning and with extreme heat and hot nights because it is lack of
vegetation and then to absorb and readmit heat that creates urban heat islands causing temperatures to be 10 degrees higher than surrounding areas. so extreme he is the deadliest natural disaster killing where people than floods, tornadoes and other extreme events combined. but other studies point to that the number could be as high as 12000h heat related deaths with communities of color and low income communities most at risk. and also with gaps of equity. costing the economy billion sectors such as utilities or vulnerable. and then national integrated information system and has
worked to reduce the heat risk with science -based products and services and with the communication public understanding of said on - - a fee. and with the city and state decision-makers with the actual information needed and in with ac indices and advisories. and then to better communicate heat risks for specific locations to identify the most at risk are. and with those excessive heat events guidebook. so much more remains to be done at the federal state and local level. i look forward to hearing from the expert witnesses were on the leading edge of the research and solutions about the coordination gap that we
made and how additional investments can fill them. the chair will recognize your opening statement. >> . >> thank you for holding today's timely and important hearing on to think our witnesses for appearing before the subcommittee to share their expertise with us this morning. and historic heat waves have been making headlines week after weekend the have been tragic and out of concern for operational safety resulting in significant economic losses. this comes on top of the crippling effects of thehe covid-19 pandemic we have alreadyy seen. and with those heat related deaths the summer alone as couple will point out he
related deaths outnumber the totality is connected to all other natural disasters. but with heat more common we cannot sit back and accept such a fate. with the public and private sector the negative effects and other extreme weather events and one such example is the ceo and cofounder is here as a witness today the national weather service provides forecasts and warnings it can be hard for people to interpret what the data means other than individuals. help to alleviate that confusion and that focused manner so for example so to monitor where and when heat will exceed a specific
threshold to make that electric grid susceptible to outages utility companies can use this information to make more informed decisions regarding grids operations. so as anpl excellent example how commercial enterprises can successfully collaborate with the federal t government to accelerate technological advances in improved weather forecast as well as communication. using publicly available data and incorporate that into the own in-house model with a more localized forecast. also been utilized by government agencies can save millions of taxpayer dollars compared to exclusive federal operation. if encouraging more public private partnerships can save lives and money then by all
means were should do all we can to increase the participation of the private sector. i want to paint a positive light because progress is too often overlooked for attention grabbing headlines. it's important to remember the rising cost of disaster is closely related to the overall rise of economic development. and with the complex relationship and in fact direct economic losses for disasters with global gdp have trended down over the last 30 years and just last week in us admission reductions could reach as much as 30 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 exceeding the paris accord goal of the obama
administration. and as an unavoidable future we should first understand what we need to fix and how we take action to ensure positive trends continue i yield back. >> were honored to have the full committee chairwoman with us today and the chair recognizes us for an opening statement. >> good morning welcoming to all of our witnesses. and then the pressing problem of extreme heat so being from texas with those temperatures
and other parts of the country don't have the infrastructure needed so just last month the record-breaking in the pacific northwest when the records were broken every day for three consecutive days it even melted power lines and in washington state extreme temperatures regions were daily june t temperatures nearing 120 degrees. and according to the state
historically headline neighborhoods trees are scarce and air-conditioning is rare leading to urban heat islands that can be as much as 7 degrees warmer than any other part of the city. and the urban heat island goes far beyond public health. extreme heat always linked to the educational outcomes and then throughout the us amplifies the heat stress and
the unreasonable warmth of the country in the northeast with the warmest june temperatures within the span of five months texas went from experiencing the coldest temperatures on record to unusually early heat wave this extreme lead to failure and water shortages we see the climate crisis happen right before our eyes and those that have a critical role to play. and then how we can better afford to address the extreme heat in the country. thank you and i yield back.
>> doctor sean this is a professor in the school of urban studies and planning and the founder and director of the sustaining urban places research lab at portland state university and interdisciplinary scholar urban heat and health and environmental justice air quality management and spatial mapping. but to be focused on climate equity and with those local stressors but those approaches as accessibility that next doctor's assistant research professor at the global institute of sustainablelnd
innovation at arizona state university with a healthy urban environment and the research focuses on adaptation urban policy and governance for the mitigation and adaptation of the hurt urban heat island effect to create neighborhood heat solutions that have thermal comfort and outcomes with the cities of phoenix and mesa and the nature conservancy the health department and community-based organizations. the third witness is the ceo and cofounder serving in the israeli i air force multiple near-death to stoke the fascination withth the weather tomorrow.il with the private security company with working
with customers and federal agencies airlines and on-demand services and professional sports teams. the f final witness doctor bernstein interim director for center climate health and the global environment at thesc harvard school of public health. pediatrician at boston children's hospital and the assistant professor of pediatrics at harvard medical school. and with those advancing solutions other witnesses should know you each of five minutes for yourr spoken testimony that is included in the record and then with the spoken testimony weav will begin with questions each member has five minutes. >> .
>> and thank you to the members of the subcommittee onea the environment i have been studying urban heat for the greater part of 20 years now. and with then grant from the national science foundation with the measurement systems and then getting tenure at the first job. and that early work we relied have it on - - heavily on the continental us with a rather technical approach. and we have relied more and more on hyper local descriptions of what is happening in and around the urban areas. the urbantl heat islands have been directly attributable to
differences of temperature many of which we have seen in larger parts of the country. and then turning the attention to community-based organization in this work. and a large part of natural disaster a lesser known fact it is a discriminating killer we published work last year and continue to build on this work that shows historical segregation policies such as redlining and what was thirtiesed in the has enduring offense to this day isolate communities of color and immigrants and lower income folks and those that
are other partsar of the city at the same timeme of day. and we learned as we were just hearing that human caused climate change was directly implicated in the pacific northwest. measuring temperatures 25 degrees warmer than other parts of the city. but with that temperature differential increases across the region. and those climate related deaths in washington but they lacked access to financial capital and social networks and then in 2009 i wrote a report stating that the agencies have little capacity understanding to take action on the heat wave.
and with the other testimonies today. i like to offer my opinion with the excess mortality from urban he and we know that people died in their households where air temperaturesy vary and we have already met with unprecedented detail 30 cities through a campaign and with swift action. and with a cost-effective and highly engaging campaign so they can socialize the concept of he as a silent killer. and then to take immediate action to move forward on
infrastructure and social programs. with the social and those legions face. and with that he they start to see you have an opportunity to upgrade the system and then to engage the organizations in the process. and then a coordinated response. do not have a single office which has heat action which falls upon nobody to stave off heat related mortality more challenging. the same is true at the federal level with noaa and epa has extensive resources to understand urban heat and then i would encourage you to really think about connecting
the dots across the federal bureaus to put local municipalities to take immediate action on this silent killer and i yield back. >> . >> thank you for inviting me today. and located in the hardest large metropolitan area phoenix arizona we are on the line for extreme heat so we have similar issues the urban heat island effect and that is a result where it retains heat during the day and slowly releases at night. what those temperatures ranging and for reducing that early he island and extreme he
is amplified by climate change increasing federally to be longer and harder climate change includes greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency measures. it's important to address both the affecting climate change together in a systematic manner but concerned how people experience he and in other words optimizing people so into different timescales immediate emergency action and long-term programs. long-term strategies have intervention points with infrastructure forestry and
regional collaborations and devoted exclusively to manage the extreme heat the cities of phoenix and miami. extreme heat not experienced equally but it is energy inefficient. and a challenge by energy insecurity that the residents are especially she vulnerable that shows that a maricopa county mobile homes comprised 5 percent yet was 20 percent of the heat death affordable livable housing is a critical factor for he health safety while poorer marginalized groups suffer they are left out of the climate planning process it was implemented in three underserved
neighborhoods with the hyper locality heat action plann with the storytelling process to feel different needs despite similar profiles. federal investments are needed to prepare urban communities for assistance and litigation to war in future and the extreme heat center is needed to coordinateme national efforts with the impact of extreme heat like the national weatherie service know i can support the healthy urban environment this is piloted with the evaluation tool how cities identify and prepare for and respond to the dangers of urban heat and with coordination across jurisdictions that are regional not competitive city by city approach regional work
can be established not only to develop solutions the critical social infrastructure as an overlooked component of transformational change is difficult to understand the human cost without traditional effort without tracking the heat death and how they are counted in the same period with the cdc reporting 618 heat deaths nationally and noaa says 150 but in arizona 520 deaths reported in 2020 this indicates weca are underestimating the scale of suffering due to extreme heat and with under line development so that research program of the economic impact
and then for fina and noaa to realize it is a disaster with that adaptation efforts. we need to act now for extreme heat that is the most vulnerable population and extreme heat contributing. thank you again for giving me the opportunity to testify. >> good morning chairwoman and the ranking member and members of the committee thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. it's an honor to be here a while suchh distinguished panelists. i was bornn and raised in israel and served in the israeli air force with the apache helicopters and
firsthand how it can negatively impact interface multiple near-death experiences and with that weather intelligence climate security company because we wanted to bridge that gap with the decision-making. and then professional sports teams. extreme heat like climate change is a real challenge affecting those more than ever before and those have increased demand airlines agriculture and others that are significantly impacted by the heat and it is critical to
the impact of infrastructure in the economy and see those three key components with extreme heat and many other environmental hazards for the continued support of critical infrastructure which means the observation models and computing with today's global enterprise also due to the bipartisan support of this committee work remains to be done and second to be in support of the thanks to the ranking member of this to broaden the scope and in our case i'll be launching a first of the kind small satellites with precipitation radar
nobody has indicated one ofno the greatest challenges is the need to improve precipitation forecast from weather to climate and third i encourage the committee for new ways to tap into private sector innovation including more open-ended solicitation with the challenges including enabling government agencies to leverage private sector technology and increase the resilience to that and with a unique platform of high resolution and more importantly transform the weather data into actionable decision for customers chairwoman i would like to share my screen to show that intelligence platform helps users adjust operations to be with extreme heat and other weather phenomenon. >> without objection.
>> any to share but there are technical difficulties. i will try again. we will continue. this displays high resolution with the weather forecast for all parameters not just heat and why we continuously improve the accuracy of our forecast and the modeling technology what we learned focusing on data is most individuals or governmental agencies have trouble understanding data and what itro means so we are the concept of weather intelligence to help customers turning into actionable business insights and practices we can help the trucking company by telling them where to delay the route
or from excessive heat we can have a vast city like dallas to ensure worker safety during extreme temperature events this is a small example of our capabilities today and be can either and more powerful and in conclusion they want to think the committee for this important issue and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. doctor bernstein. >> . >> thank you chairwoman and chairman johnson for your remarks. and for the opportunity to testify before all members of the subcommittee today. i like to start with an act that occurred of the hottest
union boston's history just this year. aim on approach me with a reasonable question, was it safe for her child to play outside? that is a question i imagine you have not's thought twice in this they weref very hot parts of the country but this is a question most parents in the northern part have never had to take seriously. i know full well what is my guess what he canto do to a child's body that can shut down any organ. children with asthma have a harder time breathing and kidney disease could have kidneys fail even adolescents who are depressed may take their lives because of the heat and there's evidence to suggest he can start fetal development that nine of that enabled me to help this mother protect her child. at this late date we could
already 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 her most vulnerable citizens. so many a of which a fellow panelist have made clear we know heat waves will be more prevalent and severe in coming decades. he can harvest in surprising ways focusing on mortality but it's critical to recognize heat is associated from life-threatening bloodstream infections, and colony, not just with outdoor workers but indoor workers, soldiers and a
variety of other ailments the pace is fast enough now that we can see official harm occurring within a generation warming is happening such as in places like cleveland and has been above 90 half a dozen times this year by 2050 it expected to be 20 or more in places like houston there are ten days with over 100 by 2050 again without robust action there could be six the second cause is that we have seen a tremendous improvement around the country over the past few there are evidence that the trends are reversing the comments about texas and
people being prepared is absolutely true there is a gross differential across the southern and northern states and we also see alarming trends that the hardest parts of the country mortality rates are going up and in certain populations like men between the ages of 45 and 64 another is electricity prices in portland and other parts of the northwest prices went up that is an attack on the poor from heat events people who have air conditioning may not turn it on when it gets hot and then the price spikes in electricity can increase that we've heard a great deal the disproportionate effects of heat on certain populations in the country. we know people of color like black americans are exposed to degrees celsius temperature more than others and rates of
mortality of people among color are greater than others with black americans three times more likely to die and indigenous people in this country six times more at risk so house and equity and our economy and we can do much more is to start with i would love to tell my families what temperatures warrant caution we can do that through support with nih and noah we have heard predictions around heat we have to leverage the healthcare sector we can use the resources of medicare and medicaid to incentivize those that put those at risk for her heat with the direct line of communication and mobilize those resources to make sure we get to the most formidable citizens and finally to underscore we are very quick to ask how much implementation will cost that urban greening
is an example that can cool down cities but it can produce runoff and even improve mental health so i urge you to consider that what is at stake for health and equity for the most just future possible. >> i recognize myself for five minutes the record shadowing heat don't heat waves are usually accompanied by power outages with extreme heat worsening the northeast infrastructure will suffer
additional consequences. >> thank you chairwoman. infrastructure it is designed with a specific range of climate in mind. and the hvac system and then with a boundary condition allowing buildings to operate like when those are extended those cat one - - with that catastrophic failure with the heat dome so that you can build around those conditions
with that set me will be seen more and intense shift and in the pacific northwest and thinking what else is about to break. with that particular level of heat in mind so the infrastructure is woefully inadequate and that multiplicity so heat is one thing that coupled with serious climate -induced risks like wildfire a family has to ask do i open the windows at night but that cooler polluted
air and my close the windows and bacon my own home? that say we'llan trade-off in the infrastructure system that we have right now in many cities. the evidence-based we really need to think about is to get down to the place where businesses and 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 a parent is walking their child to school on a hot day do they take road x or why if one is ten or 15 degrees cooler for that asthmatic child for that health-related impact that level of granularity is what
we really need to get to hike tomorrow the groups that have been trying to narrowly define and get to a point to see that level advances our ability to make informed decisions where the intervention is most effective for the communities hardest hit. >> thank you. i have limited time. when more questions when addition to making materials like rooftops and pavement more resilient so how can green spaces help lower temperatures in urban areas quick. >> infrastructure could help lower and increasing the tree canopy in the right place tori make this people centered approach not only lowering temperatures but also with their thermal comfort and then there are added benefits it
cleans the air and storm water managementnt but infrastructure needs to be balanced with water usage and make sure we are using those planting principles there's an interesting study of a colleague of mine it people see a tree or green infrastructure they actually feel cooler so we could take that information of the air and surface temperature turning that into how that impacts people's perceptions dealing with thermal comfort. >> my time has run out. i will now recognize the ranking member for five
minutes. >> in my state of oklahoma i know a thing or two about extreme weather may 99 the strongest tornado ever recorded developed in moore oklahoma that technology has been developed as an early warning system that saved thousands of lives across the country. can you help us understand exactly what kind of data and weather patterns you look for when examining extreme heat predictions and as the federal government have the tools to provide such data? >> from technology and scientific perspective extreme heat is less challenging something the agencies and community are doing quite well we do notis differentiate between heat or any other weather phenomenon but we do
need to think about the problem in two dimensions of long-term and short-term yes we definitely need to make sure the infrastructure with climate change and so we can predict it better this is why we launch satellites to cover the world but i want to highlight first focusing in the context is that a intelligence element we are already in the era of consequences and in the short term we could do a lot to prevent damages and casualties by putting in place systems with the extreme heat with actionable insights those that have information in place for what to do and what
precautionary measures to take to avoid the damages and has been indicated we are ready know that connection between the weather and the impact now we need to put the system in place to be proactive this is what were looking for in terms of the pattern. >> thank you. you talked earlier about the monitoring temperatures in urban areas can you speak s to how you anticipate to do that on a block by block basis? although helpful i think scalable is the question i have for you. >> thank you for the question there are two different ways and complementary ways to do block by block. line is we've used for a very long time satellite-based
approaches the ready fly around the planet of what is happening within the city block we could get 30-meter resolution to describe the surface temperature in specific places but the other is to monitor air temperature but it really has two components one has the data collection process to engage with environmental and social justice organizations within the city's you don't have a direct interest or relevance to heat and we work with our communities and municipality to collect hundreds of thousands of measurements on one specific day and that socializes the concept but
also gives us very granular data we haven't been able to see that is unprecedented to this day. that combined with stationary sensors where we can actually drive by and have the temporal variability we can see how i hate on - - a heat wave coming one block will fare worse than another. >> thank you for that my time is short. it's interesting you mention and satellites as we are talking about that so can you talked about how renewable energy companies can use weather data to optimize operations and protect lives and property quick. >> the biggest challenge we have is what they can generate on any given day directly correlated to the weather so having more accurate weather
forecast specifically they can better forecast that and serve the customers so with extreme heat if they don't have enough capacity it can be a big challenge we are supporting by having more groundwater for the needs of the avenue oval company and provide historical data with that historical weather data using machine learning with the forecast of the weather. >> thank you time is expired i now recognize the chairwoman of the full committee for five minutes. >> thank you very much. can you discuss how climate
change contributes moving forward? because it seems to me certain areas of the country that are more commonplace around the country with those effective parts of the country arizona, texas and how they respond with a heat stress and that they can use from one city to another and that the federal government can through
the communities and i realize there is some failure those that are not accustomed to the heat but it can show up anywhere frankly with the changes we are experiencing. >> thank you congresswoman the relationship between climate change and heat is getting more resolved and what we see this heat only experienced not only broke records backiv climate models those are conservativee to look at the probabilities between what a greenhouse gas and that it looks like versus one that is not and that difference is unequivocally clear about the
role that climate change and greenhouse gas plays and also for the other heat waves we were likely to see coming this summer. with the relationship between some parts of the country having more experience than others look at the work going on in arizona and other parts that are really hot i will quickly note one of the challenges we have noticed nationally looking at high resolution temperatures is that regional coordination is very challengingng right now individual municipalities are working on their own based on their own goodwill and get ahead of this and right now they don't seen support from the federal government to create a regional entity that could help differentnt municipalities in a different zone of the country get ahead
of these heat waves so i need to have regional networks heat planners that could learn from each other do you want to contribute to that question as well? >> yes. it is very hot and arizona and we have been dealing with this for quite a long time and the weather we experience inng arizona will be normal for other regions iner the country. 's there are some great lessons to be learned. so first of all our buildings are built that this is a hot climate all built a central air and then to understand we have to provide for comfort but also the structures as
well looking at public transit we make sure it is shaded or will be shaded. the infrastructure is already there for some extent and normal way we approach it is very normal so with playgrounds you have the covering to protect from extreme heat so my advice is other municipalities learn from what we done in the region toeg address it. that said we have a long way to go in arizona to make sure we are keeping people safe. the other areas the government could be helpful is to formulate these regional working groups not to be in that competitiveve environment
so working with cross purposes those areas within wine region that political will of heat. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman for five minutes. >> i have no questions and i yield my time. >> thank you you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you to all witnesses for the testimony and sharing your extensive research on
these experiences and this important subject. severe weather is important to my district farmers are highly attuned to weather patterns the ability to prepare for extreme weather is very important. my district has been experiencing persistently higher than average ctemperatures this summer as well as moderate drought conditions that require advance preparation for farmers and ranchers. you have described how your weather intelligent platform can monitor and provide operating recommendations for various sectors in your testimony. what sort of capabilities could the platform provide for the agricultural community and a specifically the supply chain with transporting livestock and perishable goods? >> thank you this topic is dear to my heart.
we are doing two things. one is improving the accuracy of weather forecasting basically creating more observations and running our own models that enables us to find to the forecast as you have indicated that that is not enough that platform that relates to planting and irrigation and fertilizing and spray and after three hours that washes that which has significant damage that we have a weekly calendar for the farmer of what to do. not necessarily what would be the weather but this is very helpful you can are to me algorithms to get specific
recommendations and with the supply chain where working with those including railways and when is the best time to drive and avoid excessive heat and food spoilage and areas of that kind. >> thank you for that information this is critical to agriculture in the supply chain. my stay is also a leader in wind energy in my district has a large wind energy footprint in addition to precipitation drought heats can do a win drought these type have affected wind energy in the united states and europe. with increased extreme heat do we see the wind drought increasing in frequency? can anyone take that question?
>> we can take that for the record and have our experts get you an answer. >> i appreciate that. finally the testimony today focuses on the impact of high temperatures on urban populations that cities have higher temperatures compared to the surrounding rural areas i agree that heat especially in sioux city and aims i worry about the unique challenges in rural areas for example and those that have barriers to travel in that communal center cooling and if any of the
witness have given thought to not only promote sheet readies cities but also heat ready communities in my region in the rural areas? >> thank you for the question while we are talking about urban heat extreme heat is everywhere and in the rural areas as well. we need to look at that as two ndifferent timescales with the immediate emergency concern but there is also a period it is extraordinarily hot you have to provide cooling for people in one of the ways to do that is a robust cooling center networks and there are examples and arizona that is one such case where you can provide cooling and even though people are spaced out you can have networks of people who are helping so in our case we had all sorts of
community members step up including utility companies pay for cooling centers. that is a short-term solution but long-term is to work on cooling spaces along the way and then to handle that adaptation. i >> thank you and i yield back. >> thank you for holding this hearing i have been toggling back-and-forth so if a question has been done i apologize so over seven years ago in my hometown a water crisis emerged in flint michigan. children were affected by this crisis with high levels of lead which poses significant
health risks for kids in their development but what is not well known is that there was an outbreak of legionnaires' disease as a result of the crisis. michigan again sally is experiencing a surge. this week in fact the michigan department of hhs say legionnaires' disease cases the first two weeks were up 569 percent from the same. one year ago. michigan officials attribute theth rise to rain and flooding and warmer temperatures. environmentalar health and experts have a morning climate change causing more extreme weather or volatile water cycles allow for environment for waterborne bacteria to
thrive. so with that extreme heat can have a breeding ground for bacteria such as legionnaires' disease so as you mentioned it isru true like in our district in iowa and improve particular mississippi where we heavy downpour is causing runoff that causes viruses to get in the water that's probably the clearest signal we also see coastal areas and with those lg blooms and the climate
change is precious marine organisms and for those who may be in the waters and also aerosols those that breathe adding could be set heat is a major issue for a wildfire but also through a pathway that involves diseases of trees so we see the movement the bark beetles on the west that air pollution is a major driver of respiratory infections we see a lot of evidence around the covid pandemic including air that were more likely to die that is true every winter with the flu and other respiratory conditionsnd in the text that transmit diseases we have certainly see that in this country already and critically
in one area to underscore is a major threat to healthcare we know that he is driving those clinics in rural areas are not equipped to deal with outages very well and that we need to get our heads around what heat means to healthcare through research. >> do you come up with her suggests pacific areas. >> it is a critical piece. that knowledge folks will not save us. i'm a big proponent of knowledge if you don't know how to implement it it's not
very helpful so we have to get information about whatre temperatures matter but we need a much better understanding so we have the cdc to work with noaa to assess these things. we spent that was fully preventable disease or on - - diseases we got $1 trillion going downom the drain and there is a huge need heats going up and rates of medication is going to the ruth and it may be increasingg sheet risk but a person on medication is far more likely that public health agencies better understand if people like me are prescribing
drugs are causing unnecessary harm. >> your time has expired. so next we turned to mr. gonzalez thank you for holding this hearing today it's clear extreme have ecological impacts and with recent events of the pacific northwest it's essential is that we mitigate these risk and we all see now it is a routine part of life and that something we should all be very concerned with i cannot imagine raising again kid knowing you have the wildfires and all the smoke. your company is at the center
to aggregate in a user-friendly way have you faced any obstacles that your company provides them? >> so definitely it comes from those challenges mostly how so engaging with customers 90 percent of the businesses and even 2:00 p.m. to the most accurate way to do that. and just with that relation of the weather data and when to
do the practice when is the best time to do that? but the more t interesting element is how do you make sure you get the right information so even if you have all the knowledge there is still a gap at the right individual gets the decision at the rightt time. we can benefit with the interface a person looks at the screen to make a decision that could be from streetlights to sewage systems. and then to see what is coming in we can solve it for
municipalities. >> as your company partnered with any local or state governments are there any issues that are limiting to take action on the warnings when they come through? >> and boston day suffer from snow removal challenges in the winter or anything related to resource allocation and also working with the governmental agencies. i don't see regulatory issues and i'm glad that is the case and that it will continue in such a way. >> one o gap of the understanding of the extreme heat we can't predict the
maximum high temperature and how long that can persist so what progress has on - - have you made and how can the federal agency help quick. >> so with that specific onment we are working technologies around modern modeling working together with other partners with the architects of the program and we're hoping to help the community further innovate to find the solutions that is the input for the models looking at the west coast with the wildfires is highly dependent on the pacific two or three days ago or before that we know the oceans are blind and
those over the oceans and that is highly limited survey covering the entire world effective radar and that's from what you just mentioned. >> i appreciate your testimony. >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady for five minutes. >> thank you to the witnesses for joining us with this timely hearing the unprecedented heat wave in the pacific northwest that tragically claimed the life of 116 and many more across the region my heart goes out to their families. mostarmo preventable to which
their family and friends. you must recognize the disproportionately affected communities like the low income neighborhoods like that heat islands and seniors who lack air-conditioning not all houses in the pacific northwest so state emergencies and 750 people during the heat wave and public transit and then witho cooling events. and then to raise the alarm of
those consequences. and hoping they need to be in the call with comprehensive science -based climate action you collected local heat data and with that air temperature of 124 degrees and southwest portland that's higher so how can the hyper local data improve the resilience of the community? >> thank you representative. this has three parallel lines. we have many different ways to
measuren heat it may seem obvious but as we unpack this with the satellite approach community members in municipal planners are actually grappling what is the best way to measure heat they are deep in the process to reconcile those different approaches that are being used as the scientific foundation where decisions can be promulgated and second to base the measurement and those communities that are hardest hit with the extreme heat and those that are hardest hit to say i have weathered a heat event before and that's where we see the areas like the pacific northwest and not with the understanding of the publication of heat and also
to be engaged of the interpretation and then in the community and civic science approach and then the third as i mentioned earlier that coordination network and the pacific northwest we've been talking down to southern parts of oregon to get a handle on what does it mean to embark upon the heat mitigation strategies which can be very different from the southwest the southeast inse the midwest so we went to create these regional hubs of heat practitioners and planners and
public health agencies. >> i want to interrupt you but i have a few seconds left. you emphasize that coronary response so what can congress take to improve coordination at the federal level for the local state and tribal governments. >> there is already a mechanism in place the heat information system that group already brings together several different agencies. to address that coordinated approach. . . os 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 witnesses for testifying. the record will remain open for two weeks for additional statements. the witnesses are excused and the hearing is now adjourned.