The floor is lava.
Floor Is Lava
People aren't just landing in the hospital due to severe dehydration or heat stroke during the ongoing heat waves that have gripped huge swathes of the country.
The asphalt in one Arizona county is so hot, it turns out, that people are getting life-threatening burns simply for falling on the blistering ground.
And that's enough to cause serious burns.
"The temperature of asphalt and pavement and concrete and sidewalks in Arizona on a warm sunny day or summer afternoon is 180 degrees sometimes," Kevin Foster, director of burn services at the Arizona Burn Center, told CNN. "I mean, it’s just a little below boiling, so it’s really something."
Given the unprecedented temperatures — a perfect storm of returning weather patterns heightened by global warming — the situation has never been quite this bad.
"Summers are our busy season, so we anticipate that this sort of thing is going to happen," Foster told CNN. "But this is really unusual — the number of patients that we’re seeing and the severity of injuries — the acuity of injuries is much higher."
And it doesn't take a major spill to receive some serious burns. According to Foster, as little as a "fraction of a second" of contact with the blistering ground can result in a "pretty deep burn."
Prolonged contact could result in third-degree burns, which will require reconstructive surgeries and therapy.
This year is already shaping up to be full of record-breaking temperatures, from boiling oceans to vanishing polar ice. In other words, the fact that we have to contend with face-melting sidewalks is just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.
More on climate change: Climate Scientists Horrified That Their Predictions Were Correct
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