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Published on November 16, 2023
Austin's Scorching Future, Triple-Digit Heat Days to Soar by Century's EndSource: Unsplash / engin akyurt

Austin's recent years have been marked by a significant increase in extreme heat, with 2023 having the second-hottest summer on record. As per KXAN, statistics from the Fifth National Climate Assessment suggest greenhouse gases will cause 100-degree days in Austin to potentially triple by the end of the century and double by 2050 if emissions persist.

A noteworthy fact of 2023 is Austin's landmark of 80 days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees registered at Camp Mabry. The year also set new records with 42 instances of temperatures above 105 degrees and 28 consecutive days of 100-degree heat according to FOX 7 Austin.

The steady rise in Austin's heat intensity can be traced back to climate change. Records show the city's average count of triple-digit heat days increased from 15 to 29 between 1991 and 2020. The Fifth National Climate Assessment projects an alarming deterioration of the situation in the future.

The assessment forecasts that by 2050, Austin will have an average of 54 100-degree days per year, assuming a gradual decrease in emissions as we transition towards cleaner transportation and electricity generation. In peak summer seasons, the count could exceed 100; if emissions continue unabated towards the end of the 21st century, Austin could be grappling with 130 days of 100-degree temperatures annually.

If the world doesn't implement drastic cuts to the current pollution levels, an even more severe scenario may arise. Under these conditions, Austin would have to withstand an average of 104 100-degree days every year by the end of the 21st century, with the hottest summers experiencing such temperatures for almost half the year.