BY:Bruce Henderson, Charlotte Observer
Charlotte is one of 30 U.S. cities especially vulnerable to the hot summer days of global warming, said a report Tuesday by the National Wildlife Federation and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Growing heat could make air pollution worse, the report said. Charlotte is plagued by ground-level ozone, an irritating gas that can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate lung diseases.
Heat waves, the study added, disproportionately hurt the poor, elderly, children and people with heart or lung disease.
The groups discounted the cool summer the Midwest and Northeast have experienced this year, saying it is part of natural climate fluctuations. The planet’s 10 warmest years on record all occurred between 1997 and 2008, NASA reports.
The study listed the following as Charlotte’s risk factors: average days of oppressive summer heat (15); percent of residents without central air conditioning (16 percent); ozone levels (94 parts per billion compared to 76 ppb federal standard); and percent of poor households (12 percent).
The study also listed Raleigh among the 30 vulnerable cities.