A new climate report issued this week predicts that within three decades, counties in Maine will annually experience twice as many days with summertime highs above 90 degrees.

The First Street Foundation’s sixth National Risk Assessment: Hazardous Heat study said that because of climate change Androscoggin County will have almost two dozen 90-degree days in an average year by 2053 — the most of any county in the state. Kennebec and York counties follow with 21 90-degree days by 2053.

There will also be more prolonged heat waves, the nonprofit’s report said, which compound the health risks associated with higher temperatures.

All things considered, though, Maine is among the states that will fare the best in a warming world.

The foundation’s report said that southern states and much of the Mississippi River valley are likely by 2053 to see days where the thermometer tops 125 degrees.

Matthew Eby, founder and CEO of First Street Foundation, said in a statement that the nation needs “to be prepared for the inevitable: that a quarter of the country will soon fall inside the Extreme Heat Belt with temperatures exceeding 125 degrees Fahrenheit.”


“The results will be dire,” Eby warned.

A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says “extreme heat is a major public health concern” already and agrees there is a trend “of increasing frequency and duration of heat events” that will pose greater threats to public health.

The First Street Foundation study said while Texas and Louisiana north through Iowa, Indiana and Illinois are going to get slammed by rising heat, the entire country should expect hotter local temperatures.

“These increases in local temperatures result in significant implications for communities that are not acclimated to warmer weather relative to their normal climate,” the study said.

“This reality suggests that a 10% temperature increase in Maine can be as dangerous as a 10% increase in Texas, even as the absolute temperature increase in Texas is much higher,” it added, because Maine isn’t ready to cope with hot weather to the same degree.

The report said that getting prepared for a hotter future includes many issues, from energy use to finding ways to protect vulnerable people who are more apt to die or need hospitalization when temperatures soar.


“Heat may threaten human safety by leading to dehydration, fatigue, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, hospitalization and other potentially fatal complications,” it said.

“This is especially important when considering areas of the country which may be considered ‘cooler,’ as the lack of air conditioning in homes can exacerbate health problems” as hot days “increase in frequency and severity over time,” the study said.

A new report from the First Street Foundation predicts a doubling in the number of the hottest summer days during the next 30 years as climate change hits home more than ever. First Street Foundation’s sixth National Risk Assessment: Hazardous Heat

Androscoggin County is going to see the largest increase in the state of what the study calls ”health caution days,” when temperatures feel like 90 degrees or higher, rising from an average of 12 annually to 23 by 2053, an increase of 11 days each year with high heat.

The county is also more likely to face heat waves of four days or more than it is today, the report said.

Oxford County is likely to see its annual “health caution days” rise from nine to 18, the study found, and Franklin County’s tally is expected to go up from four days a year to 10.

The rising temperatures predicted for the decades ahead follow a trend that began in the 19th century. The Maine Climate Council says Maine’s annual average temperature has gone up by 3.2 degrees since 1895.


While the report finds that Maine is going to be even hotter by mid-century, it doesn’t face the potentially crippling changes predicted in some parts of the country.

The study said that this year, about 8 million Americans will be exposed to what it terms “extreme heat,” when the heat index is more than 125 degrees.

By 2053, it predicts more than 107 million Americans will have to cope with days that reach highs above 125 degrees.

The report paints a particularly grim future for south Florida, where Miami-Dade County and surrounding areas are expected to see a 314% increase in days above 108 degrees.

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