Rising Heat Levels in the United States
As summer gets underway, the Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report titled, Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days. The analysis focuses on the effects of rising temperatures in the United States, and the potential dangers of staying on our current trends.
The report describes the various harmful effects of heat on our bodies, and projects how the future of extreme heat may impact the United States in the midcentury (2036 – 2065) and late-century (2070 – 2099). One such projection is that by the midcentury, the average number of Americans experiencing 30 or more days a year of 105°F or hotter temperatures will rise from less than 900,000 people to over 90 million.
Suggested steps the country should take to better prepare for this future include ramping up our warning systems and responses for heat risk, investing in heat-smart infrastructure and climate-smart power systems, and moving towards a more rapid path of reducing emissions.
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