AnalysisEnvironment and Climate ChangeFeaturesGlobal IssuesScience, Technology and InnovationWorld

Nowhere Is Ready for This Heat

The Pacific Northwest is melting now, but all across America the infrastructure we have was built for the wrong century.

The Portland Streetcar is 20 years old, making it relatively sprightly for infrastructure in the United States.

  • Robinson Meyer
  • The Atlantic

Yet it was built for a different geological epoch.

On Sunday, while Portland suffered through what was then its hottest day ever, the system started to melt.

As the temperature reached 112 degrees Fahrenheit, a power cable on a major bridge warped, twisted around some metal hardware, and scorched.

Elsewhere, the wires that run above the track expanded and sagged so much that they risked touching the…

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