Skip to:

"Why Record-Breaking Overnight Temperatures are so Concerning"

The New York Times interviewed Dr. Lara Cushing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of environmental health sciences, about why nights are warming faster than days across most of the U.S., and the potential consequences

Friday, July 9, 2021

Last month was the hottest June on record in North America, with more than 1,200 daily temperature records broken in the final week alone. But overlooked in much of the coverage were an even greater number of daily records set by a different — and potentially more dangerous — measure of extreme heat: overnight temperatures.

On average, nights are warming faster than days across most of the United States, according to the 2018 National Climate Assessment Report. It’s part of a global trend that’s being fueled by climate change.

Unusually hot summer nights can lead to a significant number of deaths, according to climate scientists and environmental epidemiologists, because they take away people’s ability to cool down from the day’s heat.