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USU researcher explains how Utah is affected by climate change

Posted at 10:49 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 00:49:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A study published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is raising an alarm about the impact of climate change.

The report found the planet’s surface temperature is rising faster than it has in centuries.

A scientist at Utah State University is explaining the dangers of climate change in Utah.

“If we continue on the track we are on, this summer is going to be one of the milder summers for the rest of our lives,” said Robert Davies, an associate professor of physics at USU.

He points to Tooele to show an example of the shift toward extreme heat.

“In Tooele, throughout the entire 20th century, we saw four days above 103 degrees. From 2001 to 2010, Tooele had 28 days above.”

He says the increased heat won’t be limited to summer.

“As the temperature warms, you can expect more winter precipitation to come as rain than snow,” Davies said.

Davies is calling on lawmakers to develop policies that tackle the issue of global warming to stop the trends that could lead to more dangerous extremes — including more drought, heatwaves and flooding.

“For an additional amount of temperature change, we can expect even bigger impacts than we thought we would see even a decade ago,” Davies said.