53 migrants lost their lives while in a trailer during a heat wave. Crossing the US can become more deadly as climate change makes overheating more common.

aerial view, law enforcement officers investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.  At least 46 people, believed to be migrant workers from Mexico, were reportedly found dead in an abandoned tractor trailer.  More than a dozen victims were found alive, suffered from heatstroke and taken to local hospitals.

Aerial view of a truck where dozens of people were found dead during a heat wave on June 27, 2022.Jordan Vonderhaar / Getty Images

  • Fifty-three immigrants were found dead in a truck in San Antonio, Texas, during a heatwave, the medical examiner’s office said.

  • People crossing the US-Mexico border are experiencing extreme heat and dehydration, according to experts.

  • Scientists say heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.

Dozens believed to be passing through the United States through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras were found dead inside a tractor-trailer in the heat of Texas on Monday, according to local officials. The state withstood a record-breaking heat wave, with temperatures over 100 degrees that day.

Sixteen people, including four children, were found alive and taken to hospitals. The survivors were “hot to the touch” and dehydrated, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told a news conference Monday, adding, “They suffered from heatstroke, heat exhaustion.”

By Wednesday, the death toll had risen to 53, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office. Federal law enforcement officials told CBS that it appears to be the deadliest case of human trafficking in modern U.S. history.

People crossing the southern US border from Mexico face many dangers – and as heat waves become more common and severe due to climate change, this journey becomes even more dangerous.

Temperatures in San Antonio rose to 101 degrees on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Meteorologists say the city of Texas had the warmest June since records began, according to the Texas Tribune.

Unstoppable heat waves have hit many parts of the United States in recent weeks, prompting authorities to issue warnings and tips for extreme heat across the country. Earlier this month, a thermal canopy was installed in the West, breaking temperature records from coast to coast. As of June 15, at least 113 weather stations across the country had recorded record temperatures or broken records, PBS News Hour reported.

An increasing volume of research suggests that heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense as the planet warms.

Cousins ​​Nai Nai, 5, and CJ Roberts, 7, fight with a water gun in a park near their home on June 10, 2022 in Houston, Texas.  Texas is on high alert.

The cousins ​​fight with a water gun in a park near their home in Houston, Texas, while the state was on alert for a heat wave on June 10, 2022,Brandon Bell / Getty Images

A study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Research: Climate was based on hundreds of performance studies – which seek to investigate whether and to what extent climate change can play a role in extreme weather events – and the latest reports from the UN Intergovernmental Commission on Climate Change, to assess how climate change is affecting heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall and fires.

While more data is needed to understand the link between climate change and fires and drought, the link between climate change and heat waves was clear: climate change is exacerbating heat waves, the researchers found.

“Almost all the heat waves around the world have become more intense and more likely due to climate change,” Ben Clark, the study’s author and an environmental scientist at Oxford University, told Reuters. The paper concluded that heat waves are up to 10 times more likely in some areas due to climate change.

The study’s authors also noted that there were 157,000 heat-related deaths worldwide that were officially reported between 2000 and 2020, which they say could be counted.

The US-Mexico crossing is already a deadly journey: At least 650 people lost their lives trying to reach the US across the border last year, according to the United Nations International Organization for Migration. This is more than any other year since the organization started keeping death records in 2014.

Monday’s deaths are the latest in a series of cases in which large groups of immigrants have died while being smuggled into the United States, often in vehicles during the hot summer months. In July 2017, 10 migrants were found dead from heat-related conditions in a trailer at a Walmart car park in San Antonio, about 3 miles northeast of the latest incident.

Colorful crosses were left after the trailer was confiscated by police on June 28 in San Antonio, Texas.  Dozens believed to be passing through the United States through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have been found dead.

Colorful crosses they left behind after the seizure of the tractor-trailer by the police, where dozens of people were found dead in miserable conditions, in San Antonio, Texas, on June 28, 2022.Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. border policy and the strong presence of Border Patrols along safer transit routes are pushing an increasing number of migrants to cross more remote areas along the border, according to Sam Chambers, a geospatial researcher at the University of Arizona. Immigrants stopped nearly 240,000 times in May, up one-third from last year, the Associated Press reported.

“Border crossings need to travel longer in time and distance and physically harder to bypass the surveillance device,” Chambers told Insider.

The majority of known deaths across the US-Mexico border are related to exposure to harsh temperatures and soil, according to Chambers. Chambers and his colleagues say the remains of immigrants are increasingly being found in highlands. As migrants cross warmer parts of the desert, they may be pushed uphill in search of shade and slightly colder temperatures, but still die from heat-related conditions such as dehydration and overcrowding.

Excessive heat can overheat and dehydrate the human body, especially when people spend long periods of time outside. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to extreme heat is one of the leading causes of death nationwide related to weather.

“Climate change may well increase risk and mortality as more places become less hospitable, but this is generally the result of border militarization,” Chambers said of migrants crossing warmer and more remote parts of the desert.

According to José de León, an anthropologist at the University of California, San Diego, border policies target people who want to cross the border into deserts in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. “Now they have to walk six or seven days in the woods, where they are exposed to these extreme environments,” de León told Insider.

In a December 2021 study, de León and other researchers looked at the risk of dehydration and hyperthermia faced by migrants in the Arizona desert.

“We have basically been able to show that it is almost impossible to carry enough water to survive a long day of hiking. Trying to do these things puts yourself at high risk of death,” de León said, adding, “As temperatures rise , it will get worse “.

Read the original article in Business Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.