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The 10 Best Heatwaves Podcasts: The Silent Killer

Discover the chilling truth about heatwaves, often dubbed the silent killers that claim lives unnoticed.

Heatwaves: Understanding the Silent Killer and How to Stay Safe ☀️💔

Heatwaves, often referred to as the silent killer, pose a significant threat to public health and safety worldwide. As temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, heatwaves are becoming more frequent, intense, and prolonged, putting vulnerable populations at risk. In this guide, we’ll explore the dangers of heatwaves, common misconceptions, and essential tips for staying safe during extreme heat events.

Understanding the Impact of Heatwaves

Heatwaves are not merely uncomfortable periods of hot weather; they can have serious health consequences and lead to fatalities if not properly addressed. Some of the key impacts of heatwaves include:

  1. Heat-related Illnesses: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration. These conditions can range from mild to severe and require prompt medical attention.
  2. Exacerbation of Health Conditions: Heatwaves can exacerbate pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, and kidney problems. Elderly individuals, children, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable.
  3. Social and Economic Disruptions: Heatwaves can disrupt essential services such as power supply, transportation, and water distribution. They can also lead to productivity losses, crop failures, and increased healthcare costs, placing a strain on communities and economies.

Dispelling Common Misconceptions

Despite the widespread awareness of heatwaves, several misconceptions persist, which can increase the risk of harm. Let’s address some of these misconceptions:

  1. Indoor Safety: Many people believe that staying indoors provides complete protection from heatwaves. However, indoor environments can also become dangerously hot, especially in poorly ventilated or unairconditioned buildings.
  2. Hydration Myth: While staying hydrated is crucial during heatwaves, drinking excessive amounts of water can lead to hyponatremia, a condition characterized by low sodium levels in the blood. It’s essential to drink water in moderation and replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.
  3. Cooling Methods: Some people rely solely on fans or opening windows to stay cool during heatwaves. While these methods can provide temporary relief, they may not be sufficient during extreme heat events. Air conditioning and seeking out air-conditioned spaces are more effective strategies for staying cool and safe.

Tips for Staying Safe During Heatwaves

To protect yourself and your loved ones during heatwaves, follow these essential tips:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep track of weather forecasts and heatwave warnings issued by local authorities. Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  3. Stay Cool: Seek out air-conditioned environments such as shopping malls, libraries, or cooling centers. If you don’t have access to air conditioning, use fans, take cool showers, or place wet towels on your body to lower your core temperature.
  4. Check on Vulnerable Individuals: Keep an eye on elderly relatives, neighbors, and those with chronic health conditions during heatwaves. Offer assistance and ensure they have access to cool environments and necessary resources.
  5. Protect Pets: Don’t forget about your furry friends! Ensure that pets have access to shade, fresh water, and never leave them in hot cars, even for a short period.
  6. Create a Heatwave Emergency Plan: Prepare for heatwaves by creating a family emergency plan that includes staying informed, identifying cool shelters, and knowing how to recognize and respond to heat-related illnesses.

The 10 Best Heatwaves Podcasts: The Silent Killer

Discover the real truth about heatwaves, often dubbed the silent killers that claim lives unnoticed.

1. Heatwaves and smartphone addiction

We chat about scorching summer temperatures and whether we might be using our smartphones too much…

Use code PODCAST for a six week free trial of The Week Junior magazine at theweekjunior.co.uk/podcast

Website: https://theweekjunior.co.ukPopjam: @TheWeekJuniorEmail: hello@theweekjunior.co.ukMake sure you ask an adult before contacting people online and don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe wherever you’re listening to this.

The Week Junior Show is the award-nominated news show for kids from the team behind The Week Junior magazine and the UK’s children’s radio station, Fun Kids. There’s a new episode every Friday where writers and editors discuss and digest bits from that week’s issue.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/heatwaves-and-smartphone-addiction/id1474948728?i=1000570796918

2. The Science Behind Heat Waves and Extreme Weather in Asia

Attributions speaks with Dr Roxy Mathew Koll. Roxy is a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Metrology. He’s made breakthrough contributions to observing and predicting the Indo-Pacific climate related to the region’s food, water and economic security.

Roxy is also a leader author on the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change reports and former Chair of the Indian Ocean Region Panel. He currently leads research on climate change and its impacts on monsoons, cyclones, heat waves and marine ecosystems. He works with citizen science networks, local governments and media to bring science to the masses.

We discussed many topics, including how Roxy got into climate science, the science behind heat waves, their impacts and how they form, the implications of El Niño, marine heat waves, monsoons, extreme cyclones, and other topics.

X (formerly Twitter): @RockSea

LinkedIn: Roxy Mathew Koll

Facebook: Roxy Mathew Koll

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-science-behind-heat-waves-and-extreme-weather-in-asia/id1686529181?i=1000627140741

3. To a greater degree: widespread heatwaves

Vast stretches of the temperate world are baking or burning, and as climate change marches on widespread heatwaves will only grow more intense and more common. After a half-century of insurgency, some rebels of Colombia’s disbanded FARC group needed a new calling: they have become tour guides. And a look at where Ukraine can store its considerable grain harvest. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/to-a-greater-degree-widespread-heatwaves/id151230264?i=1000570456504

4. 152: Heat Waves, MegaDroughts, + Wildfires, Oh My…

Today we are continuing our Climate 101 education with a timely summer topic: the current heat waves, wildfires, and massive droughts being experienced in the American West. We’ll figure out what a heat waves actually is, plus learn about the nuances contributing to our 20+ year megadrought. Spoiler alert: climate change is worsening natural occurances. We also better understand wildfires: how they start and what is making them so severe and frequent.

Fun, educational, and full of reminders (and my personal soapbox) about water subsidizes and camping responsibly.

Mentioned + additional articles:

* The Western Drought Is Bad. Here’s What You Should Know About It. (New York Times)* Why the intense U.S. drought is now a megadrought by Mark Kaufman* ‘Megadrought’ persists in western U.S., as another extremely dry year develops (National Geographic)

Thank you to Aspiration for sponsoring today’s episode – learn more about how you can earn up to $200 by opening an account at aspiration.com/eco.

Find me on: Instagram @ecochicpodcast + @lauraediez, on Facebook, Twitter. I’m also on clubhouse as @lauradiez ! Sign up for my weekly newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/f9324e3609e4/eco-chic

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/152-heat-waves-megadroughts-wildfires-oh-my/id1370686322?i=1000526679456

5. How deadly heat waves expose historic racism

Why heat waves disproportionately impact minorities in US cities, and the researcher that critiqued his whole career on Twitter.

In this episode:

00:45 How heat waves kill unequally

Researchers are beginning to unpick how historic discrimination in city planning is making the recent heat waves in North America more deadly for some than others.

News Feature: Racism is magnifying the deadly impact of rising city heat

11:59 Research Highlights

A graphene layer can protect paintings from age, and a new and endangered species of ‘fairy lantern’.

Research Highlight: A graphene cloak keeps artworks’ colours ageles

Research Highlight: Newfound ‘fairy lantern’ could soon be snuffed out forever

14:25 Self-criticism

When researcher Nick Holmes decided to criticise his past papers, in 57 tweets, he found the reflection enlightening. Now he’s encouraging other researchers to self-criticise, to help speed scientific progress.

World View: I critiqued my past papers on social media — here’s what I learnt

20:53 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, Richard Branson’s commercial space flight, and the Maori perspective on Antarctic conservation.

The Washington Post: Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic crew are safely back from space, ushering in a new era

The New York Times: The Maori Vision of Antarctica’s Future (intermittent paywall)

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-deadly-heat-waves-expose-historic-racism/id81934659?i=1000528868042

6. Heat Waves

Hello lovely listeners, in this episode we tackle a subject we have been getting loads of requests to cover: yoga. We are joined by Kate McNamara, owner and teacher at Hot Yoga Cork (hotyogacork.ie) who tells us how she fell in love with yoga as a twenty something year old in a new city, and what it has brought to her life since. She tells us about setting up her own studio in Cork and all of the challenges and successes since then. She also describes why yoga is still so important to her and how she incorporates it into her daily life and her fitness routine.

Kate also discusses the origins of yoga and explains the many different manifestations of this discipline. She talks us through the particular yoga practice she teaches, hot yoga. Like many of the topics we have covered on the show, this exposes our bodies to hormetic stress (an intentional physiologic stress such as cold or heat exposure, challenging exercise etc), increasing physical and mental resilience.

Plus if goat yoga is a thing what about kid yoga, and will Con  ever learn to pronounce pilates correctly??

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/heat-waves/id1555293332?i=1000614141611

7. Episode 4: Media & Misinformation – An Interview with Battinto Batts

As long as there has been journalism and media, there has been misinformation…

In today’s social media dominated world, facts seem to have lost their sway. Individuals experiencing extreme temperature fail to acknowledge the existence of climate change, and the false narratives of misinformation are hindering other efforts to combat global warming.

Today’s guest, Battinto Batts, is the Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Today’s conversation centers on the opportunities that the media has on the battle against disinformation.

In this episode, guest, Battinto Batts, and host, Mia Daly, break down the difference between misinformation and disinformation, learn where each one comes from, and discuss how we can combat it.

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-4-media-misinformation-an-interview-with/id1704964766?i=1000633259447

8. Planting 1 million trees to turn the temperature down: How cities in the Global North and South are battling extreme heat

July 2023 was the hottest month globally since records began. Combine that with several months filled with a series of extreme weather events – from heatwaves in Europe, North America and Asia, to wildfires in Canada and Greece – and it’s undeniable that the impacts of climate change that experts have long been warning us about are here today. And the worse news is that it’s only going to get hotter.

Featured guests:

Eugenia Kargbo is Freetown, Sierra Leone’s Chief Heat Officer. Her role is the first of its kind in Africa, and her duties include raising public awareness about extreme heat, improving responses to heat waves, and collecting heat impact data for her city of 1.2 million people. Her team’s Freetown the Treetown project was a 2023 nominee for the Protect and Restore Nature Earthshot Award.

Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis served as the Mayor of Athens from 2019 to the end of 2023. He has worked at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has held positions in the European Parliament in Brussels and the World Bank in Kosovo. He is also the vice president of the Hellenic Agency for Local Development and Local Government, and a Greek Leadership Council member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


Hot Cities, Chilled Economies: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Freetown’s highly replicable way of self-financing urban reforestation – C40 Knowledge Hub

Freetown the Treetown – Earthshot

Eleni Myrivili: A three-part plan to take on extreme heat waves – C40 Knowledge Hub

Heatwave tips from Athens: Cool routes app, new pocket parks and renovating a Roman aqueduct – Euronews

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/planting-1-million-trees-to-turn-the-temperature-down/id1661371088?i=1000634014613

9. State of Southasia #04: Counting the costs of another historic heatwave in Southasia

Extreme heat has immense economic and social impacts in Southasia, an area that is most vulnerable to heat, that is densely populated, and that has a large numbers of people living in poverty. Research says that extreme heat is here to stay and will likely only get worse. An analysis of the 2022 heatwave across India and Pakistan showed that human-induced climate change makes Southasian heatwaves 30 times more likely.

In this episode of State of Southasia, Nayantara Narayanan speaks to Chandni Singh, a senior researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements who works on climate change adaptation across Southasia. Singh talks about how the current Southasian experience of heat is unlike anything the region has seen in the past.

State of Southasia releases a new interview every four weeks.

Episode notes:

Further reading from Himal’s archives:

As India’s election heats up, soaring temperatures from climate change find little mention in mainstream media: https://www.himalmag.com/politics/india-election-rising-temperatures-heatwaves-risks-climate-change-journalism-mainstream-legacy-media

Nepal’s unescapable trap of migration, farming and climate change: https://www.himalmag.com/politics/nepal-himalaya-migration-rural-farming-agriculture-climate-change

INTERVIEW: COP28, the transition from fossil fuels and the Loss and Damage fund: https://www.himalmag.com/podcast/cop28-dubai-climate-change-net-zero-simon-evans

Climate change in Bangladesh is driving a dengue outbreak in winter: https://www.himalmag.com/video/climate-change-dengue-outbreak-in-winter-bangladesh

Primacy and absence of climate change: https://www.himalmag.com/excerpt/primacy-and-absence-of-climate-change-bangladesh-threatening-dystopias-excerpt-2021

Chipko to climate change: https://www.himalmag.com/reportage/chipko-to-climate-change-2021

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/state-of-southasia-04-counting-the-costs/id1464880116?i=1000654639635

10. Bob Iger’s Rough Ride, Record-Breaking Heat Waves and Guest Ashlee Vance

Kara and Scott discuss Tesla’s Cybertruck, Tucker Carlson’s new media company, and a drop in Threads engagement. Also, Bob One’s contract has been extended after a rough first year, and SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher has him in her crosshairs. Plus, Earth is experiencing its hottest days on record. What does that mean for politics and infrastructure? Then we’re joined by Friend of Pivot Ashlee Vance to talk all things space and Elon Musk.

You can find Ashlee on Twitter at @ashleevance and can buy his book here.

We’ve got some more listener mail episodes coming your way soon, so send us your questions! Call 855-51-PIVOT or go to nymag.com/pivot.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Subscribe: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bob-igers-rough-ride-record-breaking-heat-waves-and/id1073226719?i=1000621497430

Benefits of Understanding the Threat of Heatwaves

  1. Enhanced Preparedness: Understanding the dangers of heatwaves allows communities to better prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.
  2. Improved Public Health: Awareness of heatwave risks empowers individuals to take preventive measures, reducing the incidence of heat-related illnesses and fatalities.
  3. Resilient Infrastructure: Knowledge of heatwave vulnerabilities enables the development of resilient infrastructure designs capable of withstanding extreme heat conditions.
  4. Early Warning Systems: Understanding the characteristics of heatwaves facilitates the implementation of effective early warning systems, providing timely alerts to at-risk populations.
  5. Community Engagement: Awareness campaigns about heatwave risks foster community engagement and encourage collective action to protect vulnerable members.
  6. Emergency Response Planning: Understanding the impacts of heatwaves informs emergency response planning, ensuring swift and effective assistance to affected communities.
  7. Economic Stability: By mitigating the impacts of heatwaves, communities can safeguard economic stability by minimizing losses to agriculture, infrastructure, and productivity.
  8. Environmental Protection: Awareness of heatwave risks promotes conservation efforts aimed at preserving natural habitats and protecting biodiversity from the adverse effects of extreme heat.
  9. Social Equity: Addressing heatwave risks through targeted interventions promotes social equity by prioritizing the needs of vulnerable and marginalized populations.
  10. Climate Resilience: Understanding heatwave dynamics contributes to broader climate resilience efforts, helping communities adapt to and mitigate the effects of a changing climate.

Case Studies: Unveiling the Impact of Heatwaves

  1. European Heatwave of 2019: The unprecedented heatwave that gripped Europe in 2019 resulted in record-breaking temperatures, widespread crop failures, and increased mortality rates, underscoring the lethal consequences of extreme heat.
  2. California Wildfires: Heatwaves exacerbate wildfire risk by drying out vegetation and creating favorable conditions for ignition and rapid spread, as evidenced by the devastating wildfires that ravaged California in recent years.
  3. Urban Heat Islands: Urban areas experience higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas due to the urban heat island effect, intensifying heatwave impacts on city dwellers and exacerbating heat-related health risks.
  4. South Asian Heatwave: The 2015 heatwave in South Asia, with temperatures soaring above 50°C (122°F), claimed thousands of lives and underscored the vulnerability of densely populated regions to extreme heat events.
  5. Heatwave and Power Outages: Heatwaves strain power grids as demand for air conditioning surges, leading to power outages that exacerbate heatwave impacts and pose additional risks to public health and safety.
  6. Heatwave and Agriculture: Heatwaves disrupt agricultural systems by reducing crop yields, diminishing livestock productivity, and increasing water demand for irrigation, threatening food security and livelihoods.
  7. Health Impacts in Urban Centers: Heatwaves disproportionately affect vulnerable populations in urban centers, leading to heat-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and fatalities, particularly among the elderly and socioeconomically disadvantaged.
  8. Heatwave and Mental Health: Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can exacerbate mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, as individuals grapple with the stress and discomfort of oppressive temperatures.
  9. Economic Losses: Heatwaves exact a heavy toll on economies through lost productivity, increased healthcare costs, and damage to infrastructure and ecosystems, highlighting the urgent need for adaptive measures.
  10. Adaptation Strategies: Communities around the world are implementing adaptation strategies such as heatwave early warning systems, urban greening initiatives, and heat-resilient infrastructure designs to mitigate heatwave impacts and protect public health and safety.

Key Takeaways for Addressing Heatwave Risks

  1. Understand Vulnerabilities: Identify vulnerable populations, infrastructure, and ecosystems susceptible to heatwave impacts to inform targeted interventions and adaptation strategies.
  2. Implement Early Warning Systems: Establish robust early warning systems that provide timely alerts and guidance to at-risk communities ahead of impending heatwaves.
  3. Promote Heatwave Preparedness: Educate the public about heatwave risks and empower individuals to take preventive measures, such as staying hydrated, seeking shade, and avoiding strenuous activities during extreme heat.
  4. Enhance Urban Resilience: Invest in heat-resilient urban planning and design strategies, such as green spaces, cool roofs, and permeable surfaces, to mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce heatwave impacts in cities.
  5. Protect Vulnerable Populations: Prioritize the needs of vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, individuals with chronic illnesses, and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, in heatwave preparedness and response efforts.
  6. Strengthen Healthcare Systems: Equip healthcare providers with the resources and training needed to recognize and treat heat-related illnesses, and establish cooling centers to provide relief for those without access to air conditioning.
  7. Manage Water Resources: Implement water conservation measures and sustainable water management practices to ensure adequate water supply during heatwaves and minimize competition for limited resources.
  8. Foster Community Resilience: Foster community engagement and collaboration in heatwave preparedness and response efforts, leveraging local knowledge and resources to build resilience and support vulnerable members.
  9. Adapt Agricultural Practices: Adopt climate-resilient agricultural practices and technologies to mitigate the impacts of heatwaves on crops, livestock, and agricultural livelihoods, and promote food security in a changing climate.
  10. Mitigate Climate Change: Address the root causes of heatwave risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting global efforts to combat climate change, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of heatwaves in the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heatwaves

1. What causes heatwaves?

  • Heatwaves are primarily caused by a combination of meteorological factors, including high temperatures, low humidity, and atmospheric circulation patterns that trap heat.

2. How do heatwaves impact human health?

  • Heatwaves can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, as well as exacerbate existing health conditions, leading to increased hospitalizations and fatalities.

3. Are heatwaves becoming more common?

  • Yes, scientific evidence indicates that heatwaves are becoming more frequent, intense, and prolonged due to climate change and global warming.

4. Who is most at risk during a heatwave?

  • Vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, individuals with chronic illnesses, and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, are most at risk during heatwaves.

5. How can I stay safe during a heatwave?

  • Stay hydrated, seek shade, avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day, and check on vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors.

6. Can heatwaves cause power outages?

  • Yes, heatwaves can strain power grids as demand for air conditioning surges, leading to power outages that exacerbate heatwave impacts and pose additional risks to public health and safety.

7. How can I protect my pets during a heatwave?

  • Keep pets indoors in a cool, well-ventilated area, provide plenty of fresh water, and avoid leaving them in hot cars or exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.

8. Are there long-term impacts of heatwaves?

  • Yes, heatwaves can have long-term impacts on ecosystems, agriculture, infrastructure, and public health, with implications for biodiversity, food security, and economic stability.

9. What role does climate change play in heatwaves?

  • Climate change amplifies heatwave risks by raising global temperatures, altering weather patterns, and increasing the frequency and severity of extreme heat events.

10. How can I contribute to heatwave resilience efforts?

  • Support efforts to mitigate climate change, raise awareness about heatwave risks, volunteer with local organizations, and advocate for policies that prioritize heatwave preparedness and adaptation.


Heatwaves pose a significant threat to public health and safety, but by understanding the risks, dispelling misconceptions, and taking proactive measures, we can reduce the impact of extreme heat events on our communities. From staying informed and hydrated to seeking out air-conditioned spaces and checking on vulnerable individuals, each of us has a role to play in staying safe during heatwaves. Let’s work together to raise awareness, protect ourselves and others, and prevent heat-related tragedies. Stay cool, stay safe! ❄️🌞

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  8. Underestimated risk
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  10. Silent but deadly

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This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of any specific technologies or methodologies or endorsement of any specific products or services.

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