Iowa scientists warn of ‘sobering extreme heat,’ local events to protest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 200 scientists from 38 Iowa colleges and universities have signed on to a climate change statement that warns of "sobering extreme heat projections" for the Midwest that will put people, livestock and pets at risk.

The statement released Wednesday says the World Meteorological Association identified July as the hottest month in more than 140 years of record-keeping.

The scientists say the atmosphere and earth's surface are warming at an unprecedented rate and by mid-century temperatures in Iowa will exceed 90 degrees for 67 days per year, compared to the average of 23 days in recent decades.

Peter Thorne, director of the University of Iowa Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, says adaptations will include expanded disaster preparedness, increased energy use and curtailment of outdoor work and recreation during times of extreme heat.

The University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research has released annual climate statements since 2011. They are vetted by Iowa's top experts and are intended to place climate change research into an Iowa-specific context and encourage preparedness.

To get involved locally, there are three upcoming climate change events:

  • Climate Strike: Augustana College 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.
  • Poster Making Party: Freight House Farmers Market 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.
  • QC Climate Rally: Friday Sept. 27
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