In the NewsCommercial AppealAugust 23, 2019

More days with 90-degree heat cause critical illnesses and rising crime rate

The dog days of summer are here – that hot, sultry weather in August when 90-degree-plus days in the Mid-South are just part of the regular routine. While those hot days are expected this time of year, a 2018 nationwide study completed by the Climate Impact Lab showed that 90-degree-plus days are becoming a lot more common in the Memphis area – stretching into early fall and starting already in late spring. The study showed that Memphis averaged 52 90-plus-degree days in 1969. In 2017, that number averaged 68. By 2050, that average number is expected to top 90. Lab's Kelly McCusker of Rhodium Group is quoted in this guest column. “We know that in general when you increase heat you can have a decrease in labor productivity. You can have an increase in energy consumption, a decrease in crop yields, an increase in mortality rates. And an increase in crime rates too,” McCusker says.