Aug. 29, 2023

Media Advisory: UArizona expert contributes to guide for news coverage on extreme heat

TUCSON, Ariz. — Ladd Keith, an assistant professor in the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, is a contributing author to a new guide for journalists covering extreme heat.

The guide, called Reporting on Heatwaves and the Health Impacts of Heat, was published this summer by the Global Heat Health Information Network. The network is supported by the World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization and convenes experts from around the world to help build awareness and capacity to reduce the health impacts of heat.

The guide, Keith said, urges journalists to make several key considerations as they report on extreme heat, including:

  • Attributing record-breaking temperatures to climate change when necessary.
  • Highlighting not just the negative aspects of heat but solutions available to cities and residents.
  • Acknowledging that some people are more vulnerable to heat risk.
  • Highlighting the indirect health impacts of heat, such as the fact that it can alter human behavior, increase transmission of certain diseases and affect health care delivery.

Keith, an expert on heat policy and governance and a faculty fellow at the UArizona Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, is one of the guide's 11 contributing authors, who are from around the world.

In the last few months, as global temperatures broke records, Keith has been interviewed by  several national and international media outlets, including BBC News, the Christian Science Monitor, CNN, The Hill, Bloomberg and the Associated Press.

"We put this guide together because there is so much more media attention to heat this year than in past years," Keith said in a University of Arizona News Q&A in July. "We really want to make sure, as much as possible, that heat is being reported in a scientifically backed way and that the risks are being framed correctly."

The guide can be found on the Global Heat Health Information Network website.

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Researcher contact:
Ladd Keith
School of Landscape Architecture and Planning

Media contact:
Kyle Mittan
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2021 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $824 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 71 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.