Potential Changes in Temperature

The most obvious change to come could be hotter summers and more frequent and intense heat waves. Hot days could feel even hotter because of higher humidity. More heat waves will mean more heat-related illness and deterioration in the quality of air we breathe. Higher temperatures will also boost demand for electricity and put stress on power plants. It will cost more to maintain roads and buildings because of increased wear and tear. Landscaping costs will rise, too, as a result of heat stress and a longer blooming season. Costs of both police and fire services could be higher--police receive more calls during heat waves--and hot days could result in more fires and power outages.

Taking Action

To prepare for the likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, the City, hospitals and community organizations will work together to update Chicago’s emergency response plan, identifying key populations that are most at risk. Further research into “urban heat islands” may identify additional steps to eliminate these hot spots. A program to attract innovative new ideas for cooling the city will be launched.

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