The same goes for Mississippi, where Trump won by nearly 18 points and where, on average, residents experience of 13 days per year of 95-plus degree heat. The state is on track to reach up to 85 days of those temperatures by 2050.
The effects of this heat are not simply discomfort, according to the report. In Texas, where Trump won by over 9 points and where the typical year sees an average of 43 days above 95 degrees, by 2040-2058, that number is likely to reach up to 106 days per year. In tandem with this, heat-related deaths are likely to increase by more than 4,500 in the same frame, the report projects.
In a state like Florida, which Trump won narrowly, nearly one-fifth of the population is over the age of 64. With the largest share of elderly residents in the country, the effects of extreme and prolonged heat in Florida could be devastating: By mid-century, Florida is projected to have as many as 5,080 additional annual deaths, of which 90 percent are expected to affect people over age 64.
Prolonged high temperatures will take a toll on the state’s energy grids, which will be taxed with over-consumption, necessitated by over-reliance on air conditioning—and state energy costs are expected to rise by billions of dollars, come mid-century. Worker productivity will also decline. Remember, Gordon told me, these are states where “it gets really hot and humid, so you have heat stroke issues.”
State economies will equally be under pressure: Increased temperatures would have potentially devastating effects on the agriculture industries. Currently, Tennessee (which Trump won by nearly 25 points) has more than 79,000 farms, which cover more than 40 percent of the state’s land area. Among the crops grown in the state are corn and soybeans, both of which, Gordon said, “are very vulnerable” to climate change. Without significant agricultural adaptation, Tennessee’s soybean yields will drop by as much as 31 percent by mid-century; corn yields may plummet by as much as 47 percent.
In Alabama, where soybeans were the state’s second most valuable crop, absent significant agricultural adaptation, soybean yields will likely decrease by as much as 44 percent by midcentury. In Arkansas, corn yields will likely decrease by up to 59 percent in the following 20 years, so long as nothing is done to adapt the industry.
Georgia, which Trump won by 5 points, is the country’s largest producer of broiler chickens. (Alabama is second and Arkansas is third.) According to the report:
Because poultry flocks can only tolerate narrow temperature ranges, higher temperatures can disrupt performance, production, and fertility, limiting a bird’s ability to produce meat or eggs. Higher temperatures can also increase animal mortality. In addition, climate change can affect the price and availability of water, feed grains and pasture, and change patterns of animal diseases. And because energy costs comprise more than 50% of growers’ cash expenses, higher energy costs due to climate change have the potential to put additional pressure on this sector.
Some crops that are grown in the region, like wheat, may have increased yields due to increased carbon levels in the atmosphere, but Gordon cautioned, “the report wasn’t exhaustive [in its breakdown]. Heat and humidity bring new insect species and things like mold”—both of which can have devastating effects on crops and livestock.