4 major effects of climate change in America

Warming temperatures are causing extreme weather patterns across the country. But communities are pushing back with solutions old and new.

As the Earth gets warmer, higher temperatures set a new baseline for extreme weather events. An increase of just a couple of degrees in global average temperature can make hazards like fires and hurricanes more powerful and more frequent. Thanks to its size, location, and varied geography, the United States is vulnerable to a variety of extreme weather events. Here are four that NOVA explores in the documentary “Weathering the Future.”

Heat Waves

Heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense in the U.S., with major cities now averaging about six per year. In September 2022, temperatures in San Jose and Sacramento soared to well over 100 degrees, pushing California’s electrical grid nearly to its limit. Soon after, the state moved forward with plans to create the nation’s first heat wave ranking system. But what are heat waves, and why do they happen? Read more.