For reference, in 1977, the city of Dayton reached 90 degrees or higher 10 days of the year. But in 2017, it was 90 degrees or higher 17 days of the year. It is predicted that by 2057, when most current UD students are between the ages of 57 and 61, there will most likely be at least 35 days where it is 90 degrees or higher.
But why does the heat matter?
Between 1992 and 2016, 783 United States workers have died and 69, 374 have been seriously injured due to heat related illness. The majority of people affected are the 15 million Americans who work outdoors. The greatest number of heat related illnesses come from the cooler northern states where citizens are not used to the extreme heat.
To find out how much hotter your hometown has become over your lifetime, here is a cool tool from the New York Times.
Not only is the heat causing physical harm to people, but it also is harming the U.S. economy. Economist R. Jisung Park has found that productivity decreases by two percent for every degree Celsius greater than room temperature. This, in addition to the increase in demand for breaks because of the extreme heat, could cost businesses $170 billion by the year 2100.
These are some manifestations and consequences of climate change. Clearly, governments, the private sector and citizens themselves will need to adapt to this increase in summer heat.
Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Gawkins/Online Editor-in-chief.