Red Hot Summer? Climate Change and AZ

Marcus Ringo
Sonoran DesertPhoto byChristoph von GellhornonUnsplash

How will climate change affect us?

After all the rain this winter and spring brought upon us, we have encountered wildflowers galore! Brittlebush has been popping up just about everywhere, desert dandelions, and more. Huge patches of Stinknet weeds stretch several feet, as high and as far as the eye can see. (Stinknet is not native by the way, and a threat to our native plants). As beautiful as this sight seems at the moment, it could have consequences regarding our dry season. When the fires start, we will have an unforeseen amount of hazardous brush to deal with.

Where will we be in 30 years?

There's no question about it, it's getting hotter, wetter, colder, drier, and the climate is becoming more extreme in every way. This observation and data are undeniable, regardless of the various forces and reasoning behind it. Arizona is one of the driest and warmest in the country, should the current trends continue, we must ask ourselves where we will be in twenty or thirty years.

This state climate summary proves that:

Temperatures in Arizona have risen about 2.5 degrees Farenheit since the beginning of the 20th century. Recent upward trends in average temperatures and extreme heat are projected to continue. Under a higher emissions pathway, historically unprecedented increases in annual average temperature are projected during this century.

This means we will have more above 100-degree days per year, and some even think Phoenix and other desert cities could be uninhabitable around the year 2050 or so. Our aquifers could deplete faster, our forests could thin, and our wildlife would could all but thrive.

This article from 2020, says that six of our counties could be uninhabitable. This includes Maricopa, Pinal, Yuma, Cochise, Mohave, and Graham. This could potentially displace millions of people.

AzBigMedia had this to say about our increasing warmth:

The state’s average temperature is projected to increase by more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2090, according to States at Risk, a project through Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization aimed at showing Americans the impacts of climate change. This means that heat waves could become more common, which will particularly affect Arizonans unable to shelter from the heat. This includes more than 200,000 people living in poverty, ages 5 and younger or 65 and older, who are especially vulnerable to the heat, according to States at Risk. This number is likely to increase if the warming trend continues.

Planning ahead

Saudi Arabia had proposed a unique solution for its battle against the elements.

In 2021, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed the country's plans to build The Line, a smart linear city that will be constructed vertically, have no roads or cars and run purely on renewable energy. Now, the Saudi government has released image renders of what The Line could look like once it's done. The city was designed to only be 200 meters (656 feet) wide, but 500 meters (1,640 feet) tall and 170 kilometers (105 miles) long. It will house multiple communities encased in a glass facade running along the coast and will eventually be able to accommodate up to 9 million residents. 

Arizona is one of the most beautiful states in the country and we are no strangers to heat, so this summer be sure to properly dispose of green waste and clear your property of brush.

Do you think Arizona will be uninhabitable by 2050? Will we come up with a solution? Could we all live in glass bubbles? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Freelance writer, unapologetic centrist, spirit of the world.

New River, AZ

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