We have grown accustomed to the news headlines of another forest fire. It has become the new normal.
Widespread "increases in extreme heat” due to climate change could bring unprecedented risks to the US in coming decades, a new study has warned. By 2050, hundreds of American cities could experience an entire month each year with US "heat index" temperatures above 100F (38C) if nothing is done to tackle emissions and the resultant climate crisis, scientists said.
Few places would be unaffected by extreme heat conditions by 2050 and only a few mountainous regions would remain extreme heat refuges by the century’s end, the team from the Union of Concerned Scientists said.
“Our analysis shows a hotter future that’s hard to imagine today,” the study's co-author Kristina Dahl, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the USA Todaynewspaper. “Nearly everywhere, people will experience more days of dangerous heat in the next few decades.”
“We have little to no experience with ‘off-the-charts’ heat in the US,” said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, co-author of the report and lead climate analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “These conditions occur at or above a heat index of 127 degrees, depending on temperature and humidity. Exposure to conditions in that range makes it difficult for human bodies to cool themselves and could be deadly,” she added.