The forecast for the next three decades: 13 states in the US will suffer from an ‘extreme heat belt’
More than 100 million Americans are expected to experience temperatures above 50 degrees, with Miami-Dade County in Florida expected to experience the most extreme change
A new report written by experts makes a frightening prediction that by the middle of this century, millions of Americans will be under an “extreme heat belt.”
A non-profit organization called the First Street Foundation showed how the intensity of heat waves will vary across the United States over the next few years, affecting millions of Americans, with those living in landlocked countries experiencing the heaviest temperatures.
The extreme heat belt, as the researchers called it, will span 13 states across the country, including parts of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, through Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky and Illinois, as well as the borders of Nebraska. Other states that will be affected will be California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and the Carolinas.
As early as next year, 50 counties, home to more than 8 million people, will experience temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius, or 125 degrees Fahrenheit, the National Weather Service’s highest level. However, by 2053, the number of affected counties will increase to 1,023, which includes nearly 110 million people.
“This increase is concentrated in the middle of the country, in areas where there are no coastal effects to reduce extreme temperatures,” the report states.
Climate change only exacerbates the problems the US faces in terms of dealing with heat: rising temperatures cause heat waves and drought conditions, making extreme weather events more likely.
In the next three decades, temperatures are expected to rise by at least 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Where the most extreme change is expected to be in Miami-Dade County in Florida. The region experienced a seven-day high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, but by 2053 such numbers could be seen for 34 days.
The concern is that while southern states have the infrastructure and equipment available to deal with severe heat, the Midwest and North are not used to such high numbers. Another problem for these countries, which experienced the fastest population growth during the pandemic.
On top of that, the amount of CO2 released from the use of air conditioning is expected to increase, furthering the cycle of climate change, with Texas and Florida being “by far the largest consumers of cooling energy.”
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