Heat Waves More Frequent In Southeast | Weather
Resarchers at the University of Tennessee have just finished a first-of-its-kind study to predict future heat waves for the top 20 cities in the eastern United States.
After compiling all the data, it looks as though the southeastern states will be hit the hardest with more frequent heat waves and more precipitation. In fact, some of the research shows Nashville almost 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they currently are, and Memphis will see heat wave temps up by almost 4 degrees.
"Heat waves will become more severe in most regions of the eastern United States, and both the Northeast and Southeast will see a drastic increase in precipitation," said Joshua Fu, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
A big concern of this new study is how it will affect the native animals and landscape of our region. The Open Space Institute along with Merck Family Fund, and Benwood and Lyndhurst foundations, teamed up to give a $6.7 million fund for land acquisition or preservation.
The Open Space Institute, which works specifically in the Southeast, has identified lands throughout a 3 million-acre region in Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee that will be used to study the effects of this higher heat and precipitation on conservation areas.
We all know how things like tornadoes, flooding, and hurricanes affect our lives, but climate change is a bit harder to pinpoint the effects on our daily lives. What researchers hope to achieve in studying this is what could happen from higher humidities, longer lasting heat waves, and higher temperatures, other than just climate change.
"But our purpose is not to preach climate change. Our purpose is how we can get a better life -- like better air quality," Fu explained. "If we reduce our emissions, it will reduce human risks and get better air quality. And then we maybe won't get climate change -- or such extreme events."
It could affect pollution levels which could cause more people to have allergies/asthma, or worsen allergies/asthma for people who already have them. It could cause ideal conditions for bugs such as mosquitos that thrive in hot, humid climates. That could cause cases of West Nile and other viruses to go up.
Sources: Knoxnews, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Science Daily, US Drought Monitor