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Monday, January 30, 2023

The US could see a new ‘extreme heat belt’ by 2053

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The projections are part of the new peer-reviewed extreme heat model, showing that most of the country will see the number of days with heat index temperatures above 100 degrees rise in the next 30 years due to climate change.

The heat index represents how a temperature feels to the human body when humidity and air temperature are combined. It is commonly referred to as the “feels like” temperature.

“Everyone is affected by increasing heat, whether it be absolute increases on dangerous days or just a local warm day,” said Jeremy Porter, chief research officer of the First Street Foundation, a professor and director of quantitative methods in social sciences at the city. University of New York.

It’s already been a blistering summer for much of the US and Europe. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest monthly climate reportpublished on Aug. 8, found that last month was the country’s third-warmest July since record-keeping began nearly 130 years ago.

As humans continue to pump heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, temperatures around the world are rising, increasing both the frequency and severity of extreme heat.

First Street researchers used their model to create an online tool called Risk factor to give people hyperlocal snapshots of how their property is affected by extreme temperatures and what could change in the next three decades. The organization has previously created similar resources to evaluate the risks of wildfires and floods from specific addresses.

The new model uses high-resolution measurements of land surface temperatures and takes into account the effects of land cover, proximity to water and other factors that determine local temperature variability. The future heat risk is then calculated using different forecasting scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

The researchers looked at the seven warmest days expected for any property this year and calculated what the equivalent could be over 30 years. Across the country, they found that, on average, a community’s seven hottest days will become the site’s 18 warmest days by 2053.

The most pronounced shift was found in Miami-Dade County, Porter said, where the area’s seven hottest days, with heat index temperatures of 103 degrees, are expected to increase to 34 days at that temperature in 30 years.

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