“In 1991, climate scientists believed that climate change in the Midwest would lead to a warmer, wetter climate, including warmer winters and more rain in spring and early summer. They were right.
Now U.S. climate scientists are projecting that by mid-century, 5-day heat wave temperatures in Iowa will increase by about 7 degrees Fahrenheit for the average year and by 13 degrees Fahrenheit once per decade compared to heat waves in the late 20th century. Currently, the Iowa average annual 5-day maximum temperature during a heat wave is in the range of 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scientists also suggest that the strongest rainfall events of the year (annual maximum daily widespread precipitation) covering areas as large as a third of Iowa are projected to double in intensity (daily total rainfall) by mid-century, with most of this change coming before 2025.”The UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, Iowa Climate Statement (2018)
Highlights from the statement
– By midcentury, temperatures in Iowa will exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit 67 days per year, compared to a 23‐day
average in recent decades.
– By midcentury, the average daily high temperature for each year’s hottest five‐day period will be 98 degrees,
compared to 92 degrees in recent decades.
– Once per decade, five‐day average high temperature will be 105 degrees.
– Extreme heat is the leading weather‐related cause of death in the U.S.. Low‐income neighborhoods, the elderly,
outdoor workers (especially construction and farm labor) and domestic animals are especially vulnerable.
– Confined livestock are at increased risk for death and widespread productivity loses. Producers will need to
adjust their operations to deal with extreme heat events.
– Adaptations to increasing heat waves will require expanded disaster prepar
- Local governments are at the forefront of adapting to climate change.
- Land use is a primary determinant of community and regional climate change adaptation capacity.
- Climate change data must be formatted and distributed in a way that is accessible and usable by state and local planners.
- Local and state planners need to increase skill sets to effectively use climate change data.
- Federal and state programs should create incentives that will improve the use of climate change data, including in the production of hazard mitigation plans.
- Communities need to integrate planning processes, specifically hazard mitigation and comprehensive land use planning.
- Federal and state programs and policies should give communities incentives to integrate planning processes, specifically
hazard mitigation and comprehensive land use planning, and to incorporate no-regrets adaptation measures to produce
- Federal agencies should align and leverage funding and focus on pre-disaster planning for community resilience and sustainability.
- Investment decisions should take a regional perspective and be integrated across infrastructure types and sectors to realize