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Climate Change

Climate Change Indicators

CDC's Tracking Network uses data from many sources to track the effects of climate change. While there are a number of indicators related to climate change, the Tracking Network currently has data related to extreme heat and flood vulnerability.

Extreme heat data can be used to better evaluate the number of heat-related events at the national level, while allowing for comparisons across states. These comparisons can help local communities design interventions and better understand the possible health effects and risks to specific groups of people. These indicators use data from the past to identify extreme temperatures, extreme heat days and events, and conditions that make people vulnerable to heat. They also project future extreme heat events to help estimate the burden of heat-related illness in the next century.

Flood vulnerability data can be used to estimate the number of people and housing units at risk from flooding, which can be compared across states and counties. This information can inform interventions and communication efforts targeting at-risk populations.

Flood Vulnerability

This indicator provides county level data on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated Special Flood Hazard Area including number of square miles within the area, the number of people living in the area, and the number of housing units within the area. These data can be used to estimate the number of people and housing units at risk from flooding.

Drought Data

Access complete datasets of county-level drought data from the Downloadable Datasets page.

Future Projections of Extreme Heat

This indicator allows you to use modeled county-level data to look at projections of extreme daytime and nighttime temperatures to better understand how our climate is changing. These data can be used to understand trends in heat over time and focus preparedness plans to lessen the health effects of extreme heat.

Heat Vulnerability

This indicator includes measures that may make people at greater risk for heat-related health effects. These measures are diabetes, heart disease, poverty, race, advanced age, social isolation, disabilities, population density, forest canopy, developed land use, and cultivated crop land use.

Historical Extreme Heat Days and Events

This indicator allows you to look at temperature, heat index, and number of days to define extremely hot days and extreme heat events using modeled data by county and census tract during May-September of each year.

Historical Extreme Precipitation

This indicator allows you to look at the number of extreme precipitation days and the monthly estimates of precipitation by county and census tract for every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

Temperature Distribution

This indicator allows you to look at daily temperature and heat index using modeled data by county during May-September of each year.

The Tracking Network has additional indicators on health effects associated with extreme heat including heat stress illness emergency department visits and hospitalizations and heat-related mortality. See the Heat Stress Illness content area for more information

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