These Maps Show How Many Brutally Hot Days You Will Suffer When You’re Old


Risky Business

One of the main difficulties in getting people to care about climate change is that it can be hard to notice on a daily basis. But the prospect of sweating profusely through your golden years? That’s more arresting.

If you’re aged 4 to 33 right now, the map above shows you how many very hot days—those with temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit—you’re likely to experience by the time you’re elderly. It comes from a new report by the economics research firm Rhodium Group, which was commissioned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Henry Paulson, the Republican Treasury secretary under George W. Bush; and Tom Steyer, the billionaire Bay Area entrepreneur and environmentalist. 

The report’s primary focus is the economic impact climate change will have on the United States, and the dollar figures are just as extreme as the temperature data: up to $507 billion worth of property below sea level by 2100, and up to $108 billion per year in property damage from hurricanes. Meanwhile, the report predicts a 73 percent decline in crop yields in some parts of the Midwest by 2100, decreases in labor productivity due to high temperatures, and a range of other regional changes that will tend to depress economic activity.

The report’s projections for future climate changes were authored by two of the country’s top climate scientists, Robert Kopp of Rutgers University and Michael Mastrandrea of Stanford. The economic modeling was led by University of California-Berkeley environmental-policy analyst Solomon Hsiang, whose previous work has found that global warming could lead to a 50 percent increase in violent conflict worldwide.

Another compelling chart from the report is the one below, which shows the number of days per year when the heat and humidity are too high for humans to be safely outside. If no action is taken to reduce emissions, the map shows that by 2200, going outside could be unsafe for more than 10 percent of the year in much of the eastern United States:

Risky Business

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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