News - Climate Risk

Are you a Duke University alum with plans (or potential plans) to attend Climate Week NYC (September 22-29) or the UNFCCC’s Conference of Parties (COP29) in Baku, Azerbaijan (November 11-22)? Duke University experts will again take part in these important convenings alongside climate thought leaders and decision-makers from across the world—and we are eager to connect with Duke alumni who will also be joining.

The inaugural HeatWise Policy Partnership Summit convened more than 100 leaders from different sectors and parts of the country for three days to identify ways to make communities more heat resilient. The summit brought together executives from leading financial and insurance companies, high-ranking federal and state officials, foundation officers and Duke faculty, as well as community organizers whose work supports vulnerable populations.

With North Carolina sweltering under near-record high temperatures, Jordan Clark, senior policy associate with the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub, talked to The News & Observer about ways athletes can stay safe, healthy, and hydrated. Clark's recommendations are found in and build on his 2023 report A Game Plan for Heat Stress.

Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. How can you protect your health in extremely hot weather? Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub, offers ten tips for staying safe when it's hot.

Most strategies in the United States for helping people stay cool during extreme heat are geared toward urban areas, leaving vulnerable rural populations behind. “We need interventions that fit the environment,” Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub, told The New York Times.

Duke University experts are warning of health dangers from a massive heat dome moving toward the eastern United States, which may endanger human health due to a prolonged period of high temperatures, reported Enlace Latino NC. “This heat dome is hitting relatively early in this year’s heat season, so there are large numbers of people who haven’t yet acclimatized to high temperatures,” said Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub.

“Everyone is vulnerable to heat. You can be a person in good shape and good health and still succumb to heat exposure,” said Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub. With forecasts calling for “increasingly oppressive heat” in the Triangle this weekend, Ward talked with The News & Observer about how people can stay safe.

The New York Times took a look back at historic heat waves in the United States, including one in July 1995 that enveloped Chicago. Because many of the people who died were older residents living alone, that particular event served as a “turning point” in how many people think about heat waves, said Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub. “The social and economic structure of society has a big impact on who dies,” Ward said.

The National Weather Service office in Raleigh is forecasting daytime highs to approach 100 degrees this weekend. But the biggest risks to people could be after the sun sets, explained Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub. “The time in which we are most vulnerable to heat illness is when temperatures overnight do not drop below, say, 75 degrees,” Ward told NC Health News. “Our bodies need time to recover from heat exposure during the day."

A heat dome is forecast to bring higher-than-normal temperatures to North Carolina this week. Ashley Ward, director of the Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub, talked with the WPTF Morning Show about the public health risks of extreme heat and how people can protect themselves with or without air conditioning.