Valley groups studying ways to mitigate future extreme heat in the Phoenix area

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- We've heard predictions that temperatures in the desert might make Phoenix too hot to handle in the future. Now, some Valley groups are studying the extreme heat, and ways to make living in the desert a little more bearable.

They have a lot of ideas, from growing gardens on roofs to changing how homes are built and plant trees, but it's time to engage now because if predictions come true and trends continue, there will come a time when people can add about 25F to 30F Phoenix's day time highs. This could translate to highs in of 130F or more (54.44C) in the future.

"It may be hot as proverbial hell out there, but the time is now to act," said Brady Newman with Defend Our Future.

The science, the numbers are pointing in the same direction. The Valley's hot season is expanding, with summer temps starting earlier and lasting longer. Metro Phoenix is heading for summer nights where the low is over 100F.         

"We know that how we've been designing our cities is one of the major reasons we've seen this night time warming," said dr. David Hondula with the Arizona State University Urban Climate Research Center.

The group discussed issues like higher utility bills, higher stress, heat deaths rising, as well as the impact of the urban heat island.

"If we can adopt certain technologies, if we can implement certain programs, we'll be able to at least slow down future warming, if not offset some of the future warming and return to slightly temps, but is going to take a large scale effort," said Dr. Hondula.

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