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Hot Enough Yet?

The Future of Extreme Weather in Austin, Texas
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on 8 May 2015

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Transcript of Hot Enough Yet?

Hot Enough Yet?
The Future of Extreme Weather in Austin, Texas
The City of Austin
Austin, Texas is a unique and thriving city, with many great attributes:

Weather
Business Opportunities
Tech Industry
Entrepreneurial Spirit
Live Music
Low Cost of Living
Educated Workforce
Bike Friendly
Food
And More...
Significant Changes
However, conditions in Austin are already
changing, and the quality
of life will be affected.

The region has already warmed by 2° F
There are fewer nights below freezing
The wildfire season has grown longer
Extreme storms have become more frequent
Most of us notice weather extremes, rather than averages.

Average number of days per year above 100° F:
Historic = 10
Mid-century = 20 - 50
Late-century = 40 - 90
Temperature Extremes
Hot Nights
When nighttime temperatures
remain high, the elderly and
infants are most at risk.

By mid-century, there may be as many as 20 nights per year that don’t cool below 80° F.

By late-century, there could be as many as 60 nights per year above 80° F.
Historically, about 18 days per year dipped below 32° F. That number has already started to decline.
Freezing Temperatures
Average Rainfall
Some climate models show slightly increasing precipitation for the region.

Others show slightly decreasing precipitation.

Overall, conditions are expected to become drier due to higher evaporation.
Drought & Flooding
Local experts wanted to know about potential changes in both drought and flood conditions.

Both are expected to increase in frequency over the next century.

Extreme storms have already increased across the U.S.
Wildfire
Overall, hotter and drier conditions are expected to result in higher incidence of severe wildfire in the near term.

As vegetation changes across the region, however, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether wildfire risk will continue to increase.
MORE
Heat waves
Heat stroke and mortality
Ground level ozone and smog
Asthma and heart disease
Damage to roads and train tracks
What do higher temperatures
mean for Austin?
Crop failures
Stressed livestock
Hardened soils with faster runoff
Water shortages for cities and towns
Scarce resources for farmers
Stressed plants and wildlife
Damage to infrastructure
Economic losses
What do more drought and
flooding mean for Austin?
Two ways we
can protect ourselves:
Mitigation includes reducing greenhouse gas pollution to reduce the magnitude of climate change.
Resilience is built by strengthening all parts of our communities, including people and natural systems.

By planning and taking action now, Austin can continue to be a healthy, prosperous, and resilient community for a long time to come.
Creating a Resilient Future
Average Temperatures
LESS
Wetlands and aquatic species
Productivity among outdoor workers
Water available for residents and businesses
We all need to do this together to make a difference for the future.

Mitigation is vital to prevent the most severe impacts.
Two ways we
can protect ourselves:
Adaptation is action taken to reduce the impacts of the many changes that are already underway.
We need to prepare for the impacts of climate change and make our community more resilient to extreme weather events.
THANK YOU
for your interest.
For more information on this project, please visit:
http://www.geosinstitute.org/climatewise-program/completed-projects/1162-temperature-and-precipitation-extremes-in-central-texas.html

Download the full scientific report by the Geos Institute here:
http://www.geosinstitute.org/images/stories/pdfs/Publications/ClimateWise/AustinExtremeEvents_Draft20141022.pdf

This project was funded by an EPA Region 6 Pollution Prevention Program grant to A Nurtured World and The Kresge Foundation. Input was received from local decision makers in Austin and Killeen, Texas.
(1) MITIGATION
(2) ADAPTATION
Full transcript