The United States will develop an “extreme heat belt” within 30 years, stretching from Louisiana in the south to Lake Michigan in the north, crossing the Midwest of the country, according to a report released on Monday. .
This area, home to more than 100 million Americans and covering a quarter of the country, will experience at least one day of extreme heat a year by 2053, with a wind chill of more than 51°C, the organization’s report says. non-profit First Street Foundation.
Currently, this is the case in about 50 American counties, with 8 million inhabitants. But within three decades, more than a thousand counties will be affected, mostly in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and southern Wisconsin.
The Midwest of the United States would be particularly affected due to the distance from the sea, although the extreme heat will also hit smaller regions of the East Coast and southern California, according to the document. Heat is the meteorological phenomenon that kills the most in the United States, surpassing floods and hurricanes.
The First Street Foundation bases its projections on a moderate scenario from UN climate experts (IPCC), in which greenhouse gas emissions will peak in the 2040s, before declining.
In addition to these extreme temperatures, the entire country will become hotter, according to the report. On average, the seven hottest local days today are expected to become the 18 hottest days by 2053. The biggest change in temperatures is expected in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
The heat waves, which make the very hot days happen without interruption, will also last longer. In 30 years, large regions of Texas and Florida could experience up to more than 70 consecutive days of thermometers reading 38°C.
“We have to prepare for the inevitable,” warned Matthew Eby, founder of the First Street Foundation. “The consequences will be dire.”