SOURCE: Scientific American
DATE: May 11, 2020
SNIP: Roughly one-third of the U.S. population—or 118 million Americans—could feel one or more extreme weather events annually by 2050 if population and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, new research from the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows.
That more than doubles the 47 million Americans who currently experience extreme heat and cold, prolonged droughts, and intensifying floods. And it reflects the greater frequency of climate disasters nationwide, the researchers said.
The findings, published in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, are based on supercomputer simulations of county-level data from NOAA’s Climate Extremes Index, or CEI.
It also provides one of the most granular analyses to date of projected climate change impacts on the United States, the researchers said.
With no population increase, the analysis estimates that 94 million Americans would face one or more extreme climate events annually by midcentury. That’s 20% fewer Americans than under the population growth scenario but still double the 47 million people currently experiencing climate extremes.