Up to 52°C – Researchers warn of future ‘extreme heat belt’
An area with extreme temperatures can appear as close as north Texas to Canada. Researchers predict that by 2053 this “belt” could reach a temperature of at least 52 degrees Celsius on one day of the year. Millions of people are already affected.
FResearchers have warned of the emergence of an “extreme heat belt” with perceived temperatures of around 52°C or more in the United States. The First Street Foundation, a non-governmental organization, presented a study, stating that by 2053 more than 100 million people in the United States could live in areas where these temperatures reach at least one day a year.
Next year, 8.1 million people are likely to live in such areas. After 30 years, the number could rise to 107 million people, a thirteen-fold increase.
Dubbed the “Extreme Heat Belt” by the First Street Foundation, the area stretches from North Texas and Louisiana through Illinois and Indiana to Wisconsin. These are areas far from the coast, where the sea ensures more even temperatures.
The term extreme heat belt is based on the US National Weather Service’s highest heat class, which speaks of “extreme danger” at perceived temperatures of more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.7 degrees Celsius). The perceived temperature corresponds to the temperature felt by the human body and takes into account not only the actual air temperature, but also the humidity.
For their model, researchers at the First Street Foundation evaluated, among other things, satellite data on air and surface temperatures between 2014 and 2020. They included factors such as an area’s elevation, water uptake, and distance to a body of water and to the coast, and then worked with Predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on future climate development. contracts.
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