May 20, 2022 – The last eight years have been the hottest on record worldwide. With the summer of 2021 clocking in as the warmest on record in the United States and extreme heat off to an early start in 2022, it is clear that the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere are increasingly a “danger season” for human health and critical ecosystems. According to NOAA, this summer will likely be hotter across the country than in years past.
Places in the United States and around the world are experiencing record-breaking or deadly heat well before the official start of summer this year. This weekend, over half of the U.S. population will experience temperatures at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures are expected to reach as high as 99 degrees Fahrenheit in Massachusetts. More than a dozen U.S. states have experience unseasonable spring heatwaves since April. India and Pakistan are also currently enduring an extended, multi-week, deadly heatwave during which temperatures have topped 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additional Resources and Analyses:
- A 2022 peer-reviewed study titled “Too Hot to Work,” which found that without global action to reduce heat-trapping emissions, climate change is projected to quadruple U.S. outdoor workers’ exposure to hazardous heat conditions, jeopardizing their health and placing up to $55.4 billion of their earnings at risk between now and 2065. To check out 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 “feels like” temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit would more than double from historical levels to an average of 36 across the United States by midcentury and increase four-fold to an average of 54 by late century. To get the results for a specific city or county, use the online widget. To check out the interactive mapping tool, click here.
- A 2019 UCS report titled “Farmworkers at Risk,” which evaluated the risks pesticide exposure and heat stress can pose to U.S. farmworkers’ safety.
- A Fact sheet on the science connecting extreme weather events, like extreme heat, and climate change.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.