Heat waves typically cause more deaths each year than any other type of natural disaster. After another sweltering summer this year, it’s no wonder that it essentially tied with the 1936 Dust Bowl Summer as the hottest on record for the contiguous United States. Additionally, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the surface temperature of the Earth in 2020 was 1.76° F warmer than the twentieth-century average of 57.0°F and 2.14˚F warmer than the pre-industrial average. The warming trend has been consistent over the last 40 years, with each new decade being warmer than the last. In addition to the increasing global average temperature, heat waves have also become more severe, prolonged, and frequent in recent years, as indicated in this article about the Western United States. One reason we should be worried about these trends is that heat waves typically cause more deaths each year than any other type of natural disaster, and they can make droughts and wildfires more severe. So, how can you incorporate this important climate-related topic into your lessons? Explore our 5 Ways to Teach About Heat Waves below.