Here in Raleigh, we have seen more frequent and stronger storms, like hurricanes, which bring heavy winds and rains even to inland areas. We are experiencing more extremely hot summer days (above 90 degrees F) and more warm (above 75 degrees F) summer nights.
These effects might not seem very extreme to us in the US Southeast. Summers are hot here; they always have been. But over time, these increasing temperatures, rains and storms put pressure on our infrastructure, economy and human health.
The years from 2010-2020 were the warmest on record for North Carolina. If human beings cannot escape hot days, they can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This is most likely to affect people who cannot afford air conditioning, or those who work outside. Heavy rains and strong storms can damage roads, homes and other buildings. This damage is expensive to repair, and often have a worse effect on people living in substandard housing and people without insurance.
To learn more about the impacts we may experience in the Southeast, see the Fourth National Climate Assessment and the NC Climate Science Report.
But by taking action to reduce GHG emissions, and prepare for climate impacts, we can strengthen our economy with green energy jobs, contribute to equitable development in Raleigh, and improve other environmental impacts like clean air and clean water. Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan is aimed at building resilience in our city and ensuring equitable access to opportunities.