Climate change

New CA climate change tool shows heat projections by city


People walk across the dry bottom of Lake Folsom to reach its shore near Beal’s Point on a scorching hot Saturday, July 10, 2021, the same day downtown Sacramento hit 113 degrees for a daily record, according to the National Weather Service.

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If the effects of climate change continue unchecked, Sacramento could exceed 90 degrees for about a third of the calendar year starting in 2035, and hit triple digits nearly 50 days a year by mid-century.

It depends a new online tool created by the Institute of Public Healthreleased Monday in collaboration with UCLA researchers.

The tool — available at – displays projected increases in extreme heat impacts across California cities, counties, zip codes, and other geographic boundaries such as congressional districts.

Extreme heat indicators for these locations include projections of days above 100 degrees and above 90 degrees, for the periods 2035 to 2064 and 2070 to 2099.

The map shows that Sacramento County is expected to spend an average of 49 days above 100 degrees and 122 days above 90 degrees for the period from 2035 to 2064. The numbers are similar for the city of Sacramento, at 46 days and 120 days, respectively.

Between 1981 and 2010, downtown Sacramento averaged 74 days per year of at least 90 degrees and only 16 in triple digits, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Normals for this 30-year period. NOAA climate data for 1991 to 2020 did not include breakdowns of mean days above 90 and 100.

This means that the Institute of Public Health’s mapping tool predicts an increase of about 62% in days reaching at least 90 degrees and a near tripling of three-digit days from 2010 to 2065.

The tool, called the California Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition, also includes demographic and resource information detailing cities’ and neighborhoods’ vulnerabilities to extreme heat.

“Open and accessible data on the impacts of extreme heat, linked to opportunities and funding sources, is essential to empowering communities to build healthy and resilient neighborhoods,” said Tracy Delaney, founding executive director of the Institute’s Public Health Alliance of Southern California. statement.

The institute says the tool can be used by government agencies, community organizations and members of the public.

The map can also sort extreme heat data by school district, for use by administrators and other education officials.

“Communities with healthier conditions (higher HPI score) such as tree canopy, healthy housing, economic security, and transportation are better positioned to prepare for, respond to, and recover from extreme heat events,” said the institute said in a Monday press release announcing the tool. “Place matters and a resilient community is a healthy community.”

As for the deeper future, modeling shows that Sacramento County achieves 146 days per year over 90 and 73 days over 100 by the period beginning in 2070.

The forecast uses data from California’s “four priority global climate models,” according to the tool’s webpage. It assumes a scenario known as Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, which is sometimes dubbed the “business-as-usual” model for greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations.

The increases are extreme in parts of the Capital Region, particularly in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Auburn averaged just six days a year of 100 degrees or hotter from 1981 to 2010, according to NOAA data – but the Public Health Institute’s data map shows the city could average 49 days of this type from 2035 to 2064. That would be more than eight times higher. increase.

Placerville could more than quadruple, from 11 triple-digit days a year to 47 by mid-century, according to the map.

This story was originally published July 11, 2022 1:44 p.m.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and permanent resident of the capital, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.