Southland Faces Dramatic Spike in Heat Without Climate-Change Action


Maximum heat indices could peak from 100 degrees to 108 degrees each day.

"The U.S. Northwest region. would see an average of 37 days per year with a heat index above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 days per year with a heat index above 100 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century if no action is taken to reduce global warming emissions, with Washington seeing the largest rise in extreme heat", the release stated.

In addition to a dramatic increase of days that "feel" very hot, the study also looked at the rise of extremely hot days, which the report's other co-author, Erika Spanger-Siegfried, said is unlike anything most people in the USA have ever witnessed or lived through.

By the middle of the century, the team predict that there will be an average of 36 days in the contiguous states where the heat index will exceed 100 degrees-around double historical baseline levels.

By 2050, hundreds of USA cities could see an entire month each year with heat index temperatures above 100 degrees if nothing is done to rein in global warming.

All the scenarios foresee an increase in the number of unsafe heat days, though the sharpest rise would come if there's no action to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

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Temperatures could steam past the century mark by this weekend as a hot and humid airmass builds into the region, promising the state's most miserable and potentially unsafe heat of the year.

Those numbers are based on the current rate of emissions and climate change, and come from an analysis done by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The study, which was released Tuesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, sheds light on some of the possible effects of climate change on parts of the United States, including Texas. "Exposure to conditions in that range makes it hard for human bodies to cool themselves and could be deadly", she added.

Temperatures will cross over into the 90s by Thursday, and that's when things heat up. A heat index of 90 degrees starts to put outdoor workers and anyone else doing physical activity outside at risk for heat-related illness.

While rapid action can temper these impacts, no level of intervention will prevent a global rise in temperatures.

"If we wish to spare people in the United States and around the world the mortal dangers of extreme and relentless heat, there is little time to do so and little room for half measures", according to the report. A stray shower can not be ruled out but most of us will remain dry today.