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Denton can expect to see an average of 101 days at or above 90 degrees

Denton can expect to see an average of 101 days at or above 90 degrees

Denton can expect to see an average of 101 days at or above 90 degrees
August 08
21:02 2019

The average number of at or above 90 degree days in Denton has risen from 90 to 101 since 1999, according to a New York Times interactive that uses studies from the Climate Impact Lab.

“The Denton area is likely to feel this extra heat even if countries take action to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century,” said the New York Times interactive. “If countries continue emitting at historically high rates, the future could look even hotter.”

One of the main causes for an increase in the average temperature in the Denton area may be urbanization. 

“The removal of vegetation/grasses and replacing it with concrete, asphalt, and roofs means that more heat energy from the sun is absorbed which is increasing the temperature,” said Ted Ryan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth. “Denton is gradually becoming part of the greater DFW urban metroplex and will be experiencing more urbanization and a warming temperature over the next few decades.”

Kent McGregor, a UNT professor in the geography and the environment department, further explained the causes of temperature raises in Denton.

“Generally the temperature increase is greater the larger the city,” said McGregor. “In a city the size of Denton, it is much less pronounced, and to the point that it is difficult to measure. Denton has gotten warmer over the past 40 years but especially the last 20. This can be demonstrated by looking at the number of hundred days and the dates they occurred.  Summer of 2011 was probably the hottest on record.”

McGregor estimates by 2050, Denton’s temperature will have risen by at least 3 degrees.

Many Denton locals are taking notice in the increasing heat. While walking her dog, Denton resident Kaylem Renfro said that the heat makes their daily walk very uncomfortable.

“I feel like the weather is a lot thicker than usual,” said Renfro. “I’ve noticed this summer it’s a lot harder to take our dog out because I’m scared for her to get her paws burnt. The humidity makes is almost unbearable to be outside during the middle of the day, so now we’re restricted to only go out during the mornings or the end of the day.”

While Renfro believes Denton is getting warmer, other residents said they haven’t noticed any changes in Denton’s heat pattern.

“We live in Texas so of course it’s hot,” said Denton resident Noelle Walton. “DFW has has a pretty mild summer this year in particular.”

However, Murray Rice, a UNT professor in the geography and the environment department, said he firmly believes that the increasing temperatures are not to be ignored.

“Denton and Texas in general have gotten substantially warmer over the past decades,” said Rice. “The trends indicate this will continue.”

According to the New York Times interactive, worldwide, high temperatures have been found to increase risks of illness and death.

“How we’re living and the things we’re doing have a huge effect to why this is happening,” said Renfro. “The choices we make is what’s going to affect us later in life and right now.”

Featured Image: Summer in Denton has been filled with humid and scorching hot days People on the Square do their best to stay in the shade or indoors on July 23, 2019. (NT Daily photo by Sophie Moncaleano) 

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Sophie Moncaleano

Sophie Moncaleano

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