Converging Climate Risks Interact to Cause More Harm, Hitting Disadvantaged Californians Hardest

Exposure to extreme heat and wildfire smoke together leads to far more cardiac and respiratory hospitalizations than either hazard alone, new research shows. California’s marginalized communities face the highest risks.

“The future happens in California first” long referred to the state’s reputation as an environmental leader. It’s come to describe the Golden State’s front row seat to a rotating list of overlapping extreme events that are appearing with ever more frequency and ferocity as the climate warms.