Professor Stone receives $2.3 million NSF grant to study emergency preparedness during extreme heat events

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During a summer filled with extreme wildfires and crippling drought, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded 11 new grants to help researchers improve our understanding and responsiveness to these, and other, widespread catastrophes.

School of City and Regional Planning (SCaRP) Professor Brian Stone is no stranger to the dangers of heat and climate change. He directs the Georgia Tech Urban Climate Lab, a group of researchers at SCaRP who are exploring the connections between climate change and the built environment. Stone is currently leading the country’s first major urban heat adaption plan out of Louisville, Kentucky – the U.S. city with the fastest warming urban heat island in the United States. 

Stone’s new NSF grant of $2.3 million will fund research in 3 different U.S. cities -- Atlanta, Denver, and Phoenix -- and is undertaken in concert with colleagues at the University of Michigan and Arizona State University. 

"Extreme heat is among the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the U.S.,” he writes in the project abstract. “More frequent and intense heat waves are expected with climate change, so future blackouts may result in significant risks to public health, especially among children, the elderly, and the poor.”

"As extreme heat events become more common, critical infrastructure failures in cities may become as threatening as the heat itself -- particularly to individuals lacking continuous access to air conditioning," says Stone. "This study is designed to assess population vulnerability to heat during electrical grid disruptions and to assist cities in developing heat management plans as urban areas continue to warm with climate change."


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