Umbrellas cover a crowded beach

Can infrastructure and tourism endure triple-digit temperatures, extreme weather during ‘Danger Season’?

Elizabeth O’Connell of Northeastern University-London worked through Britain’s record breaking heat wave Tuesday at home with her curtains closed and a Dyson fan at her side.

“Regular cold showers are a must,” says O’Connell, director of marketing and admissions for Northeastern’s London location.

“Dog walks now take place at 6 a.m. when it is relatively cool. Few homes have air conditioning, as historically we have not experienced the temperatures to warrant its installation,” she says in an email.

The heat wave striking Europe has sent temperatures in Britain above 40 degrees Celsius–or 104 Fahrenheit—for the first time ever, caused wildfires in France and killed more than 1,000 people in Spain and Portugal.

Northeastern University professors say it is a sign of more to come as climate change continues to create extreme weather challenges.

“Continents across the globe are going through enormous heat waves,” says Auroop Ganguly, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University.

“It’s not that they have never happened before. They have not happened continuously for this long and over and over,” he says.

“We are seeing records being broken almost each successive year.”


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Photo by Steve Taylor/Sipa via AP Images.

Marine and Environmental Sciences