Inverse Daily

Deadly heat in cities has tripled since 1983

Plus: An ancient forest is “stuck in time.”

In 1983, “Long Hot Summer” by Style Council was the sophisti-pop song of the year in many circles. Why mention this British synth group in opening a newsletter primarily focused on science and innovation? Our lead story makes it nearly irresistible, that’s why.

Since 1983, when that ponderous UK slow jam about the heat was released, deadly temperatures in cities have tripled due to an increasingly hotter atmosphere caused by air pollution. This grim finding is according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Along with that study comes an interactive map that allows users to zoom in on more than 13,000 individual cities to see where their hometown ranks.

As for Style Council, “Long Hot Summer” is still played live by its singer Paul Weller. You can hear the song at the bottom of this email.

I’m Nick Lucchesi, and this is Inverse Daily, your daily digest of the latest science and innovation stories from the editorial staff at Inverse, the coolest place to get smarter. Thanks for being with us.

Question of the Week — Tuesday was World Teachers’ Day, and we’d love to hear about your best unconventional teachers this week. Who is someone that taught you an enduring lesson? Send your one-sentence answers to newsletter@inverse.com. We’ll publish some of the best ones next week. If you’re reading this as an email just hit reply and send it that way.

A technical explainer — If you received the Gawker newsletter this week, that is because our friends at Gawker are part of the same company as Inverse, Bustle Digital Group. We shared your email address with them because we thought you would be interested in the excellent stories they are putting out every day. If you’d like to unsubscribe, you can do so in that newsletter.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

Alexander Spatari/Moment/Getty Images

These cities are at risk of deadly heat Climate change is a global threat, but the effects of rising temperatures aren't distributed evenly. Bryan Lawver reports on a new study that shows why heat is making cities more dangerous:

Climate change threatens everyone on Earth, but the effects won’t be felt equally everywhere. When it comes to rising temperatures, some of the most popular places to live are also among the most dangerous places to live on Earth. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the incidence of exposure to potentially deadly heat in cities has tripled since 1983.

A new interactive map allows users to zoom in on more than 13,000 individual cities for data on increases in person-day exposure to extreme heat and humidity and the factors involved.

Read the full story.

Go deeper into city science:

Paul Biris/Moment/Getty Images

A forest “trapped in time” Tara Yarlagadda reports on scientists whose research has revealed how a remarkable river ecosystem of red mangrove trees in the Yucatan adapted to ancient climate change in the Last Interglacial Period:

If you venture deep into the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, you just might find a relic of Earth’s ancient past along a swampy riverbed.

In a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers reveal a remarkable river ecosystem of red mangrove trees that is, in essence, a time capsule. It has been “trapped in time for more than 100,000 years,” explains co-author Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, a marine ecologist.

Read the full story.

Go deeper into the ancient world:

The male and female pair likely lived during the North Wei Dynasty, during 386-534 BCE, when Buddhism rose to prominence in the region.Zhang et al. / International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

Grisly archeological finds Jenn Walter reports on shared graves, wrapped bodies for burial, and sacrificed pets for the afterlife. Ancient human behaviors give us a glimpse into the power of relationships:

Relationships are a quintessential part of our human experience — our ancient ancestors were no exception. The fog of the past makes it difficult to decipher what human bonds looked like thousands of years ago.

Luckily, archaeologists have unearthed some telling remains that hint at the dynamics of ancient relationships — be it among friends, lovers, family, or companions.

Read the full story and see the images.

Go deeper into archaeology:

brightstars/Photodisc/Getty Images

Cosmic static Mars and Earth are about to be on opposite sides of the Sun, interfering with communication between NASA engineers and missions on Mars, writes Passant Rabie:

Placing a long-distance call to a robot on another planet is already complicated enough. But it becomes nearly impossible when a nearly 864,400 mile-wide star is in the way.

On Saturday, Mars entered solar conjunction. This means the Sun is wedged between the Earth and the Red Planet for about two weeks. During that time, the radiation from the star interferes with radio signals between Earth and Mars.

To avoid any dropped calls between mission control and ongoing Mars missions, NASA is keeping communication with Perseverance and other Martian explorers to a minimum.

NASA will stop sending commands to most of its missions from October 2 to October 14, a period called the “solar conjunction moratorium.” Some missions will be offline until October 16, depending on the angular distance observed from Earth between Mars and the Sun.

Read the full story.

Go deeper on cosmic phenomena:

  • About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to newsletter@inverse.com.
  • Song of the Day: Long Hot Summer” by Style Council
  • Notable birthdays: Britt Ekland (79), Elisabeth Shue (59), Tommy Stinson (55), Valerie Adams (37), Steve Scalise (56) (Source: AP.)
  • A technical note — To ensure your email open is counted toward our streak program, confirm that all the images have loaded and your ad blocker is turned off.