EdgeTheory Logo
← Back to Resources

Southwest Heat Wave: Record-Breaking Temperatures and Health Risks

July 14, 2023Simon Moss


The media narrative surrounding extreme heat and climate change asserts that record-breaking temperatures in the USA and other parts of the world are causing health risks and other consequences. The key entities involved in this narrative include people, events, technology, and organizations such as Twiga, the National Weather Service, and the Aerial Firefighting Squadron.

Rolling Updates

Our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis:

Headline Issues

1. Extreme Heat and Health Risks

The issue of extreme heat and its associated health risks is a major concern in the current narrative. Key points include:

  • Heat waves disproportionately affect older people, black people, and individuals with preexisting health conditions.
  • Heat is responsible for a significant number of emergency department visits and hospital admissions during the summer.
  • As global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, heat waves are expected to become more frequent, last longer, and be more intense.

2. Climate Change and Record-Breaking Temperatures

The issue of climate change and its connection to record-breaking temperatures is another focal point of the narrative. Key points include:

  • The Earth as a whole has been breaking unofficial temperature records, with experts attributing this to climate change.
  • The natural climate pattern El Nino also plays a significant role in the current warmth.
  • Scientists predict that climate change will continue to reshape the world, leading to more record-breaking temperatures in the future.

3. Consequences and Regional Impacts

The consequences of extreme heat and record-breaking temperatures are being discussed in the narrative, with a focus on regional impacts. Key points include:

  • Specific regions, such as Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Southern California, have experienced excessive heat warnings and temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The absence of monsoon activity in these regions exacerbates the blazing temperatures.
  • In Israel, temperatures have reached as high as 38.5 Celsius (101 Fahrenheit) and are expected to rise even further, leading to measures such as a ban on fires.

Insights on Top Surfaced Keywords

All Sources in U.S. Media

The top surfaced keywords in all sources in U.S. media provide valuable insights into the narratives surrounding extreme heat and climate change. Here are some key observations:

  • Heat wave and heat waves are the most frequently mentioned keywords, indicating a focus on the occurrence and impact of heatwaves in the U.S. (250 and 230 mentions respectively).
  • Climate change is a highly relevant keyword, highlighting the connection between extreme heat events and long-term shifts in global climate (224 mentions).
  • Extreme heat and excessive heat are frequently discussed, emphasizing the severity and danger of high temperatures (211 and 143 mentions respectively).
  • The presence of keywords like global warming, fossil fuels, and record-breaking heat suggests a narrative that links extreme heat events to human-induced climate change (114, 84, and 76 mentions respectively).
  • Regional keywords such as southern California, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas indicate a focus on heat-related issues specific to these areas (112, 109, and 91 mentions respectively).

Found Only in Left-Leaning in U.S. Media

Keywords unique to left-leaning U.S. media outlets reveal additional aspects of the narrative surrounding extreme heat:

  • Global temperatures and surface temperatures highlight the emphasis on monitoring and analyzing temperature trends (51 and 42 mentions respectively).
  • The mention of weather events suggests a focus on extreme weather occurrences in the context of climate change (40 mentions).

Found Only in Right-Leaning in U.S. Media

Keywords unique to right-leaning U.S. media outlets shed light on the specific narratives prevalent in these sources:

  • The mention of cities and towns and older people suggests a focus on the impact of extreme heat on urban areas and vulnerable populations (13 and 11 mentions respectively).
  • Hot weather and intense heat highlight the focus on the immediate weather conditions and their effects (11 mentions each).
  • The mention of Maine's climate and climate reanalyzer indicates a regional perspective on climate issues (11 mentions each).

In conclusion, the surfaced keywords provide a comparative analysis of the narratives surrounding extreme heat and climate change in different media sources. The keywords reflect the varying emphasis on regional impacts, scientific analysis, and immediate weather conditions, offering valuable insights into the competing narratives surrounding this important issue.

southwest heat wave amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

Left-Leaning in U.S. Media

southwest heat wave amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

All Sources in U.S. Media

southwest heat wave amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

Right-Leaning in U.S. Media

Insights for Bias in U.S. Media

Our Narrative Intelligence has conducted an analysis on bias in U.S. media, using our Narrative AI and Narrative Technology. The findings reveal significant differences in media coverage across political leaning, with a particular focus on left, left-center, right, and right-center sources.

The analysis shows that sources with the least bias accounted for 439 articles, while left-center bias sources accounted for 386 articles. Right-center bias sources had 160 articles, left bias sources had 132 articles, and right bias sources had the lowest coverage with only 33 articles.

Comparatively, left-center bias sources had almost double the coverage of right-center bias sources, and left bias sources had nearly four times the coverage of right bias sources. It is clear that there is a significant disparity in media coverage across different political leanings.

These insights on bias in U.S. media highlight the need for a comprehensive understanding of the media landscape and the potential impact of biased reporting on public perception. Our Narrative Intelligence will continue to provide valuable analysis and insights through our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence Briefs, utilizing our advanced Narrative AI and Narrative Technology.

southwest heat wave amplification distribution by bias

U.S. Media

Note: Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs update every few hours. Very likely, the Narrative Analysis data visualization depicted in the graphic above will have changed as well.

Image Credit for Article Header: Chris Yarzab, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

hello world!

AI-Powered Narrative Intelligence

Request A Demo