Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version



Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2020.


Copyright 2020 Mandy Koehler


Increasing temperatures are expected as the climate crisis progresses. This crisis is fueled by the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere, which trap heat in the environment. With rising temperatures, more extreme heat events threaten multiple sectors of society including public health. To gain insight into future climate issues related to warming temperatures and public health for people living in Lincoln, Nebraska, this research will evaluate the predicted extent of extreme heat for this area and consider what other relevant regions do to deal with these problems. This study identifies the scope of future extreme heat by using two climate projection tools, the Climate4Cities Sister City Tool and the Climate Explorer Tool. The framework of the study used two timeframes, a near future (2021-2050) and a farther out future (2051-2080), and two emission scenarios, RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5. Each projection showed an increase in the summer minimum temperature, the summer maximum temperature, and the average annual temperature for Lincoln, Nebraska. This implies that extreme heat is a concern Lincoln will be facing in the future. Currently, the majority of cities in the United States do not have heat action plans in place to protect citizens. Using recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the discussion portion also considers the possible adaption of heat prevention guidelines to implement in future city plans for Lincoln.