Thursday, June 13, 2024

New tool maps where U.S. heat can pose threats to your health

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC): An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC is charged with protecting public health and safety by working to control and prevent disease, injury and disabilities. It does this by investigating disease outbreaks, tracking exposures by Americans to infections and toxic chemicals, and regularly surveying diet and other habits among a representative cross-section of all Americans.

data: Facts and/or statistics collected together for analysis but not necessarily organized in a way that gives them meaning. For digital information (the type stored by computers), those data typically are numbers stored in a binary code, portrayed as strings of zeros and ones.

factor: Something that plays a role in a particular condition or event; a contributor.

hurricane: A tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and has winds of 119 kilometers (74 miles) per hour or greater. When such a storm occurs in the Pacific Ocean, people refer to it as a typhoon.

impair: (n. impairment) To damage or weaken in some way.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: (or NOAA) A science agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Initially established in 1807 under another name (The Survey of the Coast), this agency focuses on understanding and preserving ocean resources, including fisheries, protecting marine mammals (from seals to whales), studying the seafloor and probing the upper atmosphere.

National Weather Service: An agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Created in 1870, its current role is to collect weather, precipitation and climate data. It also issues forecasts and warnings 24 hours a day for the entire United States, focusing on signs of possible conditions that could threaten lives and structures.

online: (n.) On the internet. (adj.) A term for what can be found or accessed on the internet.

risk: The chance or mathematical likelihood that some bad thing might happen. For instance, exposure to radiation poses a risk of cancer. Or the hazard — or peril — itself. (For instance: Among cancer risks that the people faced were radiation and drinking water tainted with arsenic.)

tornado: A violently rotating column of air extending from the ground to a thunderstorm above.

weather: Conditions in the atmosphere at a localized place and a particular time. It is usually described in terms of particular features, such as air pressure, humidity, moisture, any precipitation (rain, snow or ice), temperature and wind speed. Weather constitutes the actual conditions that occur at any time and place. It’s different from climate, which is a description of the conditions that tend to occur in some general region during a particular month or season.

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