"A record-shattering heat wave that blistered the Pacific Northwest in 2021 carried an important lesson, scientists say. Places that historically haven’t had to deal with extreme heat may not be prepared when it strikes.
That was true across the lush, temperate regions of Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia, where air conditioning was still commonly viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity prior to the deadly heat wave. Temperatures spiked well above 100 degrees across much of the region in June 2021, hitting all-time highs in Portland, Ore., and Seattle and reaching an eye-popping 121 degrees in the tiny village of Lytton, British Columbia.
Hundreds of people died as a result.
Going forward, other parts of the world should view the Pacific Northwest heat wave as a warning, a new study says. Record-breaking heat is on the rise all over the globe. But there are many regions that may not be equipped to handle it, simply because they haven’t yet experienced that kind of danger."