Thursday, October 24, 2019

Heat Waves in Brookline

Richard B. Primack and Audrey S. Garon

“Is not all the summer akin to a paradise?”  Henry David Thoreau

This past summer, Brookline experienced a brutal July heat wave with temperatures over 90 degrees four days in a row, reaching a high of 97 degrees.  Heat waves  are increasing worldwide, and are more intense in places like Brookline due to roads, parking lots, and buildings that absorb heat, and fewer trees for shade.

Originally from Texas, Sean Roberts running laps at Amory Park during the July heat wave.

Pete Rittenburg, Director of Athletics at Brookline High School,  says that sports programs adjust by  “avoiding the heat of the day and practicing either in the morning or late afternoon.”

The very hot day does not bother these tennis players, who grew up in Brazil.  

Dr. Swannie Jett, Brookline Health Commissioner, warns that the risk of heart attacks and asthma increases for senior citizens when temperatures go above 85 degrees.

Many people lack air conditioning to deal  with the heat.  Brookline resident, Katie Eng, doesn’t have any air conditioning because “Getting an apartment that comes with winter heating and summer air-conditioning is a luxury that many of us cannot afford.”

Tamara Hurioglu found that during the July heat wave, “Even with four window AC units running all day, it was 89”  in some areas of her top floor apartment.

Caroline and Jake Berchuck, from North Carolina, out walking their dog in the noon sun. 

In coming years, Brookline residents will experience more heat waves because of climate change.  It will be like living in North Carolina or Texas, rather than Massachusetts.

A longer version of this article originally appeared in the Brookline Tab.

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