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Workers under scorching heat AFP

South Florida again saw record temperatures after a scorching weekend and as a heat wave continues to hit the peninsula.

Both Fort Lauderdale and Miami recorded as much as 95 °F, a record for this time of the year. The former's previous record had taken place in 1985, it being 1995 for the latter.

Miami has experienced continued record temperatures for almost a week now, while Fort Lauderdale has been in this situation since May 7.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues heat advisories when the heat index (that is, the temperature the body feels, rather than what the thermometer says) reaches 105 °F for several hours.

When this happens, the NWS and the red cross issue a series of recommendations to endure the heat. Staying hydrated, wearing light clothing and not leaving children or pets inside cars are among them.

They also recommend avoiding exercising outdoors and excessive consumption of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, as well as staying in places with air conditioning during the hottest hours of the day.

As for outdoor workers, recommendations are to take frequent breaks. However, Florida has been under the spotlight on this issue after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill preventing local authorities from passing legislation protecting workers against extreme heat.

The law, supported by business organizations and opposed by labor and environmental ones as well as Democrats, also prompted a broader conversation about what the standards are in the rest of the country.

Scorching temperatures are among the different effects of climate change being felt in South Florida, another one being the increased pace of rising sea levels.

A new report by the Miami Herald showed that over the past 80 years, sea levels have risen approximately one foot, with eight inches of that increase occurring in the last 30 years.

The next foot increase, however, is expected within 30 years. The next one 20 years later and the following one in just 10, according to projections by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The current trends are in line with the organization's higher projections.

Local governments are using these projections for future infrastructure planning and development, but the report showed that the Ron DeSantis administration is requiring them to consider the intermediate-low and intermediate scenarios when applying for state funding.

DeSantis also signed last week a bill removing climate change as a policy priority in the state, saying the decision "restores sanity in our approach to energy and rejects the agenda of the radical green zealots."

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