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Articles by Brian Kahn

Brian Kahn is the communications coordinator at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). You can continue the conversation with him on Twitter. His views and opinions do not represent an official position of IRI.

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Tina Johnson has a sense of place. She’s a fourth-generation New Yorker who lives in the same apartment in West Harlem’s Grant housing development that her grandparents lived in. She calls that apartment her anchor, and the nine buildings that make up the development towering above 125th Street — home to roughly 4,400 residents spread across nine high rises — a small town.

“I have fond memories [of here] and this sense of belonging I want my children to have,” she said.

To keep that sense of place is going to take some work, though. Changes outside that “small town” nestled in a city of 8 million will only compound the stresses altering West Harlem.

A mix of poverty, a lack of services, and aging infrastructure already make West Harlem one of the most vulnerable communities in Manhattan.

Climate change is putting further stress on Johnson and the 110,000 people that call the neighborhood home. And the biggest threat is rising temperatures.

As carbon pollution turns up the planetary heat, the impact is clearest on what’s happening to extremely hot days: They’re becoming more common and more intense.

New York has averaged three days above ... Read more

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