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September 28, 2023
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Paris: Heat Wave
Produced by: Dan Grossman
In August 2003, European suffered the worst heat wave in at least 500 years. Many weather records were set that month. Great Britain reported its hottest day ever. Forest fires raged in much of southern Europe, themselves causing deaths. Crops withered and trees died. One of the cities hit hardest was Paris. Although the high heat started in early August, it was nearly mid-month, after hundreds of people had been killed, before the French government realized that the heat wave had turned deadly in Paris. Before the heat wave was over, the city’s morgues had to requisition refrigerator trucks just to hold the excessive number of dead bodies. More than 1,000 Parisians had died of dehydration, heat stroke and other ailments caused by high heat, a disproportionate fraction of which were single, elderly women. Producer Dan Grossman tells us the story of the Paris Heat Wave, and the signs that other parts of the world, including parts of the U.S. Midwest, could soon face significantly increased climate extremes.

Program Credits

'Paris: Heat Wave' originally aired as part of the series Heat of the Moment: Inside Out, produced by WBUR.


Heat Wave Hits Northeast With Record-Breaking Temperatures
The Heat wave in Northeastern U.S has proved overwhelming for many.

France on another heatwave alert
After the heat wave of 2003, the French government have left nothing to chance in combating the heat this year.

Tips on staying cool in a heatwave
Here are some tips on staying cool during the heat wave of 2010, including drinking fluids and leaving your room door open.

Heat Wave Hits National Zoo in DC
Humans are the not only ones having to cope with the 3-digit heat. Animals at the National zoo need as much relief too.

Heat of the Moment: Inside Out
Paris Heat Wave originally aired as Part of the documentary Heat of the Moment: Inside Out, produced by WBUR.

The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet
by: Heidi Cullen 2010
Cullen tackles the current weather events we face, like the floods in Pakistan and droughts in Russia, and reminds us such things should be expected and questions our readiness to adapt with our current infrastructure.

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago
by: Eric Klinenberg 2003
Klinenberg investigates the real cause of death from Chicago's heat wave of 1995.

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Programs by Dan Grossman

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