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Revisiting the Paris Heat Wave

More than 1000 people died in the Paris Heat Wave of 2003. Now other parts of the world, including the U.S., could soon face significantly increased climate extremes.

Heat of the Moment: Heat Waves (Part 1)

On August 5th, 2003, Los Angeles trial lawyer Alvin Michaelson and his wife arrived in Paris for vacation. Before long they were having dinner at a swanky bistro. Michaelson says it was "clearly hot, very humid" when he arrived and, as he noted, air conditioning is not common in Paris. His restaurant certainly had none. Michaelson didn't realize it but he had landed near the start of what scientists now say was the worst European heat wave in at least 500 years. The temperature had climbed to 99 degrees and had failed to cool off at night.