Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

More Killer Heat in Store for VA's Future

Without action, higher temperatures will affect more Americans than ever in the decades ahead, according to a new report on climate change by the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Adobe Stock)
Without action, higher temperatures will affect more Americans than ever in the decades ahead, according to a new report on climate change by the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Adobe Stock)
July 22, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia and other parts of the United States will have a lot more killer heat waves like the one that started this weekend if the nation doesn't do something about climate change, according to a new report.

The Union of Concerned Scientists says Virginia usually has 31 days a year on average with a heat index above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered "extreme heat."

Its report says climate change would boost that number to 75 days a year on average by the middle of the century.

Senior Climate Scientist Astrid Caldas says temperatures in the state will climb even higher.

"Historically, there has been just one day across the state, on average per year, with a heat index above 105,” she states. “But that would increase to 17 days per year on average by mid-century, and 41 by century's end."

The Southeast is expected to have the most drastic growth in extreme heat days nationwide, the report says.

In Virginia, cities with higher populations – Fredericksburg, Richmond and Williamsburg – will experience these hotter days more often than the rest of the state.

Children, older adults and people with medical conditions have higher risks of heat-related illnesses and deaths. Heat exhaustion can cause dizziness, nausea and fainting, and lead to heat stroke, which is fatal.

The report says people in outdoor jobs such as farmhands and construction workers will suffer most, in part because the heat also affects their paychecks and productivity.

Caldas says more attention is needed to this growing threat.

"Extreme heat kills about 600 people every year in the United States and, as it has been increasing lately because of global warming, it's something that we should take really seriously," she states.

The report recommends the U.S. radically reduce its heat-trapping emissions and invest in low-carbon energy sources to avoid the rise in extreme heat.

The Union of Concerned Scientists also is calling on public health systems to ramp up their responses to heat risks.

Diane Bernard, Public News Service - VA