Tyler Chalfant | September 26th, 2019
Researchers from the University of Iowa spoke at a press conference last week about rising temperatures in the state. The models used in the 2019 Iowa Climate Statement indicate that the number of days over 90 degrees in Iowa will rise from 23 to 67 by 2050.
Jerry Schnoor, co-director of the University of Iowa’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, spoke at the Cedar Rapids Public Library on Wednesday, September 18th about the changes needed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Those changes include solar farms and installing solar panels on homes, building wind turbines, improving energy efficiency and battery storage, along with carbon sequestration, regenerative agriculture practices, and reforestation. “All of these things take time. It takes time to change our infrastructure,” Schnoor said, but added that action is necessary in the next 16 months.
Peter Thorne, of the UI Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, also spoke at the press conference, warning of the health risks posed by extreme heat. Heat is responsible for more than 600 deaths in the U.S. every year, making it the leading cause of weather-related deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Schnoor and Thorne also suggested infrastructure improvements to help prevent these deaths. This could include a program to cool homes during hotter months the way the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program helps with heating costs during the winter.