A study published in the journal Nature (climate change) and conducted by scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) with researchers from the City University of New York (CUNY) underpins the importance of developing a genuinely holistic climate change policy. Put simply, the research indicates that as populations increase in the Southern U.S heat exposure is could 6 times greater in 2070 than it is in 2015.
Heat extremes are responsible for more deaths in the U.S than all other meteorological occurrences. One of the many negative consequences of climate change that has been predicted by the world’s community of atmospheric and climate scientists is the increased incidence of heat waves. According to the published research as the population of the southern states rises exposure to heat extremes will increase.
The research assumes that current trends on both global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and population movement within the U.S will continue. A temperature of 95°F is the accepted point at which extreme heat begins. From this position the scientists involved assert that in regions from Atlanta to Dallas and Tampa to Houston that exposure to extreme heat will increase between a factor of 4 and 6.
In summary, the research concludes that population is increasing in the same regions that are predicted to become hottest as a result of human induced climate change. Overall, it appears that an interaction between demographics and climate change has implications not only for the Southern U.S but the wider global community. The authors are very quick to impart that in some regions of the U.S that the interaction between migration and climate change is less profound than others. Concurrently, in some regions of the U.S less people are predicted to be exposed to extremes of heat than they are today.
In addition it is made clear that exposure to heat does not have to mean vulnerability on the part of the population. Instead the scientists involved conclude that heat exposure will go up but not that death rates or hospital admissions will necessarily increase. However, the research does make abundantly clear that social sciences such as population demographics should be intertwined with any studies concerned with the impacts of climate change.