More dangerous heat in Chico, study says. What that means for residents
As the North State begins to heat up, a study from the nonprofit Climate Central found an increase in dangerously hot days at more than 200 locations throughout the United States, including the city of Chico.
In just the last few years, Chico has seen a steep rise in what the Climate Central study calls “risky heat days.” Those are days when temperatures rise above the local historical average and pose a risk to public health.
In 1970, Chico had just 37 risky heat days. Last year, it had 70— the year before, 74.
Another study published this week found warming caused by emissions from fossil fuel and cement companies may have caused a third of the wildfires in the Western US and Canada in the last four decades.
According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat is the deadliest weather-related hazard in the US. Three hundred and seventy-five people died of extreme heat in 2021. That’s four times the number of deaths from other natural disasters that year.
Public health researchers recommend local governments build more cooling centers in vulnerable communities and make them a larger part of heat mitigation plans.
More risky heat days also mean more wildfires. A United Nations report published in February of showed that increased heat and dryness create more fuel for wildfires around the globe.