Southern California environment news and trends

Heat-related deaths expected to soar in U.S.

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Image: Cimexus/Flickr

According to a new report from the National Resources Defense Council, climate change could lead to as many 150,000 more Americans dying from heat-related causes by the end of the century.

As reported by Think Progress, the study, entitled “Killer Summer Heat,” looks at the projected numbers across 40 American cities, and it’s not pretty. With Louisville, KY (19,000 deaths) and Detroit, MI (18,000 deaths) leading the pack, Los Angeles clocks in at 1,200 projected heat-related deaths by the year 2099.

"This is a wake-up call. Climate change has a number of real life-and-death consequences. One of which is that as carbon pollution continues to grow, climate change is only going to increase the number of dangerously hot days each summer, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of lives lost," said Dan Lashof, director of NRDC's climate and clean air program in a press release. "To prevent the health impacts of climate change from getting even worse, we need to establish a comprehensive program to reduce heat-trapping pollution from all sources, by building on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposals to limit carbon pollution from new power plants and cars."

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It’s official: The air in Los Angeles can kill you

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David McNew/Getty Images

The Los Angeles downtown skyline is enveloped in smog shortly before sunset

Most citizens of Los Angeles don’t need a survey to tell them that it’s the most stressful city of America. Still, when Forbes crunched a bunch of numbers including quality of life data, unemployment rates, housing affordability, etc, good old L.A. clocked in at #1.

While we know that stress can lead to a myriad of health issues and according to some, even death. Not exactly the feel-good statistic of the week, but hey, this is Los Angeles. Deal with it.

If that statistic is grim, it’s about to get even worse. According to a new study by the Environmental Protection Agency, just living in Los Angeles can kill you. To be more specific, the rampant air pollution that blankets Southern California is what can actually get you in the end.

Published in the journal Risk Analysis, the study (based on 2005 air quality) estimates that anywhere from 130,000 to 360,000 premature adult deaths in SoCal going forward. They’ve linked the poor air quality to everything from asthma, bronchitis and trips to the ER. In L.A. County, city of Los Angeles led the pack with 10 percent of deaths directly linked to air pollution.

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