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Health, Science & Environment

New model says Miami Valley could become part of an 'Extreme Heat Belt'

A map of the United States shows that the average temperature will rise by 7.9 degrees by 2100 from Cincinnati, Clarksviille Tenn and Sheveport, La.

A new study from the First Street Foundation found the Miami Valley could soon be part of an “extreme heat belt.”

If the study’s modeling is correct, that means the region will have days in the summer where it feels like it's 125 degrees.

To put it another way, some models predict that living in southwest Ohio in 30 years will feel like living in modern-day Clarksville, Tennessee.

Heat like that could cause a lot of problems for the region, more heat-related illness, damaging severe weather events and lower farm production.

Lauren Casey, a meteorologist with the non-profit Climate Central, said she is not surprised by the results.

"Climate change is resulting in these episodes of extreme heat that are longer and more frequent,” Casey said. “That is only going to continue as we continue to increase our emissions."

But Casey said there is hope.

She said moving toward electric vehicles and renewable energy sources can help reverse warming trends. So can things at the local level: like planting more trees and building out greenspace.

Chris Welter is a reporter and corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.
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Health, Science & Environment Climate Change
Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.