Here Are the Places Most at Risk From Record-Shattering Heat 科學家預測「這些地方」恐出現創紀錄高溫
Global warming is making dangerously hot weather more common, and more extreme, on every continent. A new study by researchers in Britain takes a unique approach to identifying which places are most at risk.
When the mercury spikes, communities can suffer for many reasons: because nobody checks in on older people living alone, because poorer people don't have air conditioning, because workers don't have much choice but to toil outdoors. The new study focuses on one simple reason societies might be especially vulnerable to an extreme heat wave: because they haven't been through one before.
Whether it's heat or floods or epidemics of disease, societies are generally equipped to handle only the gravest disaster they have experienced in recent memory. Right after a catastrophe, people and policymakers are hyper-aware of the risks and how to respond, said Dann Mitchell, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol in England and an author of the study. "And then, as the years go on, you sort of forget and you're not so bothered," he said.
Mitchell and his colleagues looked at maximum daily temperatures around the world between 1959 and 2021. They found that regions covering 31% of Earth's land surface experienced heat so extraordinary that, statistically, it shouldn't have happened. These places, the study argues, are now prepared to some degree for future severe hot spells.
But there are still many areas that, simply by chance, haven't yet experienced such extreme heat. So they might not be as prepared.
According to the study, these include economically developed places like Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, plus the region of China around Beijing. But they also include developing countries like Afghanistan, Guatemala, Honduras and Papua New Guinea, that are more likely to lack resources to keep people safe.
Other areas at particular risk include far eastern Russia, northwestern Argentina and part of northeastern Australia.
The study was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.
'Kids Can't Read': The Revolt That Is Taking on the Education Establishment 「孩子們不識字」：美教育機構面對激烈反彈
In suburban Houston, parents rose up against a top-rated school district, demanding an entirely new reading curriculum.
At an elementary school in Hutchinson, Minnesota, a veteran teacher is crusading for reform, haunted by the fear that, for 28 years, she failed children because she was not trained in the cognitive science behind reading.
And Ohio may become the latest state to overhaul reading instruction, under a plan by Gov. Mike DeWine.
"The evidence is clear," DeWine said. "The verdict is in."
A revolt over how children are taught to read, steadily building for years, is now sweeping school board meetings and statehouses around the country.
The movement, under the banner of "the science of reading," is targeting the education establishment: school districts, literacy gurus, publishers and colleges of education, which critics say have failed to embrace the cognitive science of how children learn to read.
Research shows that most children need systematic, sound-it-out instruction — known as phonics — as well as other direct support, like building vocabulary and expanding students' knowledge of the world.
The movement has drawn support across economic, racial and political lines. Its champions include parents of children with dyslexia; civil rights activists with the NAACP; lawmakers from both sides of the aisle; and everyday teachers and principals.
Ohio, California and Georgia are the latest states to push for reform, adding to almost 20 states that have made moves in the past two years. Under pressure, school districts are scrapping their old reading programs. Even holdouts like New York City, where hundreds of elementary schools were loyal to a popular but heavily criticized reading curriculum, are making changes.
About 1 in 3 children in the United States cannot read at a basic level of comprehension, according to a key national exam. The outcomes are particularly troubling for Black and Native American children, nearly half of whom score "below basic" by eighth grade.
"The kids can't read — nobody wants to just say that," said Kareem Weaver, an activist with the NAACP in Oakland, California, who has framed literacy as a civil rights issue and stars in a new documentary, "The Right to Read."