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Feeling the heat

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As summer begins to wrap up, temperatures on campus remain hot and humid.

This year’s summer temperatures rise as a heatwave crosses Oklahoma.

States across the country have issued heat advisories since the beginning of the summer. Oklahoma has issued heat advisories weeks on end since early June.

According to the National Weather Service, “A heat advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions… when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100 degrees or higher for at least two days.”

The high temperature for Stillwater, in June was 100 degrees, in July it was 102 degrees and so far in August, it is 101 degrees.

Although July was the hottest month ever recorded globally, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oklahoma State students are certainly feeling the heat.

Kinsley Carter is a student at OSU, “(The heat) has made traveling to my classes a little longer and is physically making me exhausted.”

Wyatt Love, another OSU student said, “The classrooms are pretty hot right now, especially in the Physical Science Center.”

Climate change is a big factor in the heatwave, and human activity has impacted the environment in both positive and negative ways.

Kristen Olofsson is a professor in the Social Sciences and Humanities division and specializes in environmental and energy policy.

“The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that since 1850, human activities that release greenhouse gasses are responsible for a significant increase in global temperatures worldwide,” Olofsson said. 

Along with heat advisories comes the risk of heat related illnesses and injuries, this includes heat exhaustion and heat strokes. 

To stay cool and safe during extreme heat conditions, the National Weather Services advises people to take extra precautions such as, drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing and check on animals when walking outside to ensure they’re comfortable in the heat. 

“Small changes cumulate to the greater good,” Olofsson said. “Turn off lights when you leave a room, limit your energy consumption, run your AC less, carpool instead of driving and grow plants. You can drastically reduce your carbon footprint through small life changes.”