Heat wave has Chicago planning for global warming
Chicago’s 50-year forecast: lethal and extreme weather, a termite invasion and a 1.5 foot drop in Lake Michigan's depth.
Story from The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.
A heat wave is hitting much of the United States, and some states say they’ll soon be reeling from the effects of climate change. Chicago’s long-term forecast looks like a scene from a horror movie: lethal and extreme weather, including blizzards; a termite invasion, and even a 1.5 foot drop in the depth of Lake Michigan.
Aaron Durnbaugh, the deputy commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Environment, told The Takeaway that the forecast is based on fact, not fiction.
"We worked closely with the best scientists we could find to put forward our forecast, both in a best-cast and worst-case scenario -- looking towards the middle of the century and 2100, the end of the century -- and identifying different impacts related to precipitation and temperature, and then a follow on impact from those changes."
In response, Chicago's city planners have put a plan into effect to redesign the city to accommodate the 50-year forecast. The plan, according to a recent article in the New York times, includes everything from what types of trees to plant, to more permeable roads and water storage tanks.
The city is also preparing for "sun" days: We're expecting many more days above 90 or 95 degrees, with heat spiking potentially to 117 degrees in the summer," says Durnbaugh. "And we have a history, unfortunately of heat-related disasters in Chicago."
Even with it's dire forecast, Durnbaugh says Chicago will still be better off than other parts of the world.
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