Jun 15, 2022 - News

Climate change portends more heat

Kids playing in water in the street
Chicago kids cool off in water from a hydrant in 1943. Photo: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Temperatures hit 100 for the first time in a decade yesterday at the same time many suburban residents were without power due to storm damage.

  • As we slog through these steamy days, it's natural to wonder — is this just a typical heat wave or a bigger part of our future with climate change?

Why it matters: The science is pretty clear that we're in for more of this.

  • "One of the most high-confidence conclusions of climate science is that human-caused global warming is raising the odds of, as well as the severity and longevity of, extreme heat events. That likely includes this one," says Andrew Freedman, Axios' climate and energy reporter, who recently reported on this record-breaking heat wave.

Zoom in: A new analysis from nonprofit climate research company Climate Central shows that Chicago is seeing an average of seven more summer days above normal temperature than in 1970.

Map of Illinois
National Weather Service forecast high temperatures for today. Photo courtesy of Weatherbell.com

The latest: We're in for at least two more days of this heat, but the worst is expected to end on Friday.

Be smart: At a press conference yesterday, Office of Emergency Management and Communications chief Rich Guidice advised residents to:

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Open windows and close shades if you don't have AC.
  • Don't leave people or pets in the car.
  • "Be aware of the cumulative effect with extreme heat and how it affects you in the coming days, even after the temperatures cool down."

Pro tips: Use 311 to request a wellness check on loved ones, but Guidice advises calling 911 if someone is suffering a heat-related medical emergency.

  • In addition to cooling centers, park district buildings and libraries are also open for heat relief.
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