Dating back to 1970, much of the country has experienced tremendous warming especially during the summer months. On average, our summers in the United States have warmed almost two and a half degrees Fahrenheit since the early seventies. Locations that have warmed the most include the West, Southwest, Northwest, and western Texas.
Not to be left out on the warmth is the Queen City. In fact, here in Burlington, our summers have warmed just over three degrees on average since 1970. It’s known that carbon pollution traps more heat in Earth’s atmosphere so it’s no wonder our summer season is warming, summer temperatures are arriving earlier in the year, and risky heat extremes are becoming more frequent.
Lastly, we’ve increased our average of above normal temperature days in the Queen City by sixteen since 1970. That means sixteen more days that we run the risk of health hazards because of extreme heat and poorer air quality. In fact, extreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in our country. Therefore, when we consider how climate change is making heat waves longer and more intense, this stat is, unfortunately, only going to trend upward in the coming years unless we do something about it.