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Researchers say southern B.C. can expect more sweltering days in the years ahead

Heat waves in southern British Columbia have become more common in recent years, and researchers warn the annual number of dangerously hot days will quadruple in the next three decades.

Once unprecedented events like the heat dome that killed hundreds in June of 2021 will become more common.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo's Intact Centre on Climate Adaption tracked a number of factors, including the average annual number of days above 30 degrees celsius.

"What we're seeing in many places is that the number of hot days are going to triple, quadruple, and in some cases even multiples of five," said Joanna Eyquem, the centre's director of climate-resilient infrastructure.

Her team created an infographic to help, detailing ways people can reduce the heat inside their homes.

There is one version for detached homes and another for condos and apartments.

Some of the ideas are free and include things like learning which windows to open in order to maximize airflow.

The team also recommends choosing light bulbs and home appliances that are energy efficient and emit less heat.

Planting shady vegetation near sun-facing windows, or blocking them with awnings or other coverings, are also included.

Installing air-conditioning units is way down the list.

"If we're cranking up air-conditioning and putting it at maximum without putting any other measures in place, we're actually pumping a lot of hot air into our cities, which can actually make temperatures higher," said Eyquem.

The researchers say the increasing heat will be felt more in cities than in rural areas because all the pavement and concrete retains heat. Top Stories

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