Turn down temperature in the Peninsula oven
The weather forecast or your weather app might say the temperature is, say, 30 degrees on the Peninsula.
But research conducted over the last two weeks of November gives quite a different picture.
Your weather app might say the temperature is 30 degrees but the real temperature in some parts of the Peninsula can be as high as 40 degrees or more.
West St in Umina, the whole of Woy Woy and the shopping strip in Ettalong are generally far hotter than other places on the Central Coast.
But it's not just high streets. Retirement homes, most schools and hospitals are just as hot if not hotter.
What's more, the hotter the day the more the hot spots are even hotter.
The health risks of this are enormous and rise almost exponentially once the ambient temperature passes 35 degrees.
These risks are amplified with the elderly, the young and the infirm.
It's a real climate crisis with real implications.
It is more than likely that temperatures of 40 degrees or more will be commonplace this summer for the Peninsula.
This would result in temperatures over 50 degrees in hot spots such as the Peninsula's high streets and surrounding areas.
What can be done?
Awnings and occasional trees can reduce the heat impact by some 25 percent but no more.
However, full tree cover reduces the heat impact by up to 60 percent.
So the Peninsula needs a massive commitment to, and investment in, many, many more trees, not just for aesthetic reasons but also for real health and welfare reasons.
Council has a plan for this that does not yet go far enough.
The local organisation, Grow Urban Shade Trees, are doing great work and has planted some 300 new trees.
Council is planning to plant 1500 new trees on the Peninsula.
Sadly, local residents continue to cut trees down. This is rank stupidity.
So far, far more needs to be done.
Many parts of the Peninsula are like an oven and we need to turn the temperature down.
Otherwise we'll fry.
Coupled with smoke from bush fires, the health risk is terrifying.
Emergency hospital admissions could rise by over 25 percent and anyone with a cardio vascular condition or diabetes is at risk.
It's a crisis. Not in the distant future but now.
Email, 16 Dec 2019
David Keig, Umina