Oakland, California - When we think of climate change and global warming, many folks look to a time far after they will be gone. Many climate scientists looking much closer into the future say change will come faster.
So-called "extreme heat" happens when100-degree-plus temperatures combine with a lack of wind, shade, and ground cover, in the presence of higher humidity.
The First Street Foundation recently released a professionally reviewed and approved study about global warming and extreme heat.
"When that happens, you actually end up with these ‘heat island effects’ where those things are hotter and they're radiating heat hotter than the actual temperature outside. So you feel a temperature much hotter than the forecasted temperature," said First Street Foundation founder Matthew Eby.
Currently, some 7 million Americans, who live in 50 U.S. counties, experience extreme heat which feels way hotter.
"On their worst day, will reach over 125 degrees on the heat index," said Eby.
Those 7 million Americans currently experience seven extreme heat days a year.
"Over the next 30 years, those days will actually increase to be 15 days. So, you would expect 15 of those or roughly just over two weeks of those temperatures," said Eby.
But far more people than those 7 million will suffer that.
"Over the next 30 years, that number grows to over 107 million Americans. So, what that means is there's this emerging extreme heat belt," said Edy.
A big part of the heat belt will extend from Texas and Louisiana to Chicago. Extreme heat spells will last up to 100 hours. Today's hot spells will become the good old days, especially at traditionally hot places away from the ocean such as Sacramento, the far East Bay and, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
"Those places get very hot and they stay hotter, as you were mentioning, over time," said Eby.
Rail and bridge structures warp and sag more often. "They retain the heat, and they get so much hotter that they actually lose their integrity in what they're actually built to withstand," said Eby.
Eby says, tough many Americans believe climate change will seriously affect America, few believe it will affect them directly.