Think It’s Hot Now?

by Published on

Texas is gonna get hotter and hotter during this century, according to a report released today by the National Wildlife Federation and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

We already knew that but the report puts some numbers to the warming trend. Over the next century, the temperature will rise 4 to 11° F on average with urban areas as much as 10° higher than rural areas. The American Southwest, including parts of Texas, will bear the brunt of the increase.

Based on four risk factors – the number of extremely hot days, ozone pollution, the fraction of homes without A/C, and poverty levels – the report concludes that thirty U.S. cities will suffer the worst heat effects. Houston and Dallas are in the “Tier 1″ category, the cities with the highest vulnerability. Austin makes the list of “Tier 2″ cities. San Antonio is in “Tier 3.”

The graph above shows that parts of West, South and Central Texas could experience over a hundred 100°+ days every year by the 2080s and 2090s under the higher greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Imagine a summer worse than this one pretty much every single year. Good times.

Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is associate editor of the Observer. Forrest specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.