Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Urban environments are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat events, otherwise known as heatwaves. To help better prepare cities, regional future climate projections of heat waves are necessary. Previous studies have shown that heat waves will become more frequent, longer in duration and stronger in intensity. In this analysis, we focus on projections of heat waves and cooling degree days in six large cities across the south-central United States. An ensemble of statistically downscaled global climate model simulations were used to look at heat waves and cooling degree days for a historical period from 1981-2005 and a late century future time period from 2075-2099. Heat waves were found to more than triple for each city and cooling degree days were found to increase anywhere from 50 to 85% by late century. In conclusion, already vulnerable environments will experience even more heat stress with an increased need for cooling. This could lead to a higher energy demand, more frequent power outages, and increased mortality.
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