May 20, 2022 – The past eight years have been the hottest on record anywhere in the world. With summer 2021 being the hottest on record in the United States and extreme heat starting early in 2022, it’s clear that the summer months in the northern hemisphere are increasingly a “dangerous season.” for human and critical health. ecosystems. According to NOAA, this summer will likely be warmer across the country than in years past.
Places across the United States and around the world are experiencing record or deadly heat long before the official start of summer this year. This weekend, more than half of the US population will experience temperatures at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures are expected to reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit in Massachusetts. More than a dozen US states have experienced unseasonable spring heat waves since April. India and Pakistan are also currently experiencing a prolonged, weeks-long deadly heat wave in which temperatures topped 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additional resources and analysis:
- A 2022 peer-reviewed study titled “Too Hot to Work,” which found that without global action to reduce heat-trapping emissions, climate change is expected to quadruple the exposure of American outdoor workers to hot conditions hazardous, endangering their health and placing up to $55.4 billion of their income at risk by 2065. To view the interactive mapping tool, click here.
- A 2019 peer-reviewed study titled “Killer Heat,” which found that without global action to reduce heat-trapping emissions, the number of days per year when the temperature “felts” exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit would increase than doubling from historic levels to an average of 36 in the United States by mid-century and quadrupling to an average of 54 by the end of the century. To get results for a specific city or county, use the online widget. To consult the interactive mapping tool, click here.
- A 2019 UCS report titled “Farmworkers at Risk,” which assessed the risks that pesticide exposure and heat stress can pose to the safety of American farmworkers.
- A science fact sheet linking extreme weather events, like extreme heat, and climate change.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work solving our planet’s most pressing problems. By partnering with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative and practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, visit www.ucsusa.org.