Extreme Heat Is Here to Stay

Summer isn’t even over here in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s already been a brutal few months. This year’s summer heat waves have been more frequent, more intense, and longer than any we’ve seen before. We’ve suffered through extreme weather events caused by those heat waves. We’ve seen wildfires that have been made more intense by climate change. We’ve had failures in infrastructure, industry, and the food supply. And of course, these problems are only getting worse. We’re looking at a future where extreme heat is just the new normal.

This week, we bring WIRED senior science writer Matt Simon onto the show to talk about where all the heat is coming from and what it’s doing to the environment. We also talk about how quickly the problem of excessive heat is accelerating, and what—if anything—humans can do to slow it down, or at least lessen the damage it causes.

Show Notes

Read Matt’s stories about heat waves, the wildfires in Lahaina, Maui, and how the heat is affecting the ocean’s food chains. You can find all of Matt’s WIRED stories in one place. Also, listen to Matt’s appearances on two previous episodes referenced in this week’s talk, when we spoke about microplastics and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.


Matt recommends the 24 Hours in Ancient … history book series that looks at different societies. Lauren recommends the short film “How to Catch a TikTok Thief” from The New Yorker. Mike recommends Connections, the new daily game from The New York Times.

Matt Simon can be found on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, @mrMattSimon. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *