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Extreme heat events are linked to mortality rates, making them an important research subject in both the climate and public health fields. This research evaluated trends in extreme heat events using observational station data and evaluated long-term heat event trends across the continental United States. The results indicate that extreme heat events have generally declined or remained stable in central regions of the country and have increased in southern and coastal regions. Overall, increases seen between 1970 and 2010 were mostly offset by decreases between 1930 and 1970. A large number of daily maximum extreme heat events around the 1930s resulted in a decreasing tend from 1930 to 2010 in daily maximum heat events, while a number of high minimum temperatures in the 2000s led to an increase in the daily minimum extreme heat events. Trends depended on the daily temperature extreme used as a threshold.
Contact(s): Evan Oswold