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Record growth, record heat, record drought: how will Las Vegas weather the climate crisis?

Las Vegas is growing at a staggering rate. Clark county, where the city is located, is home to roughly 2.3 million people, but forecasts predict the population could go beyond 4 million by 2055.


Attracted by the lure of cheaper costs of living, lower taxes, and newly built homes, more than half a million people are expected to flock to southern Nevada in just the next 15 years. To accommodate them, the region’s arid landscape is being converted into strip malls and shopping centers as winding cul de sacs creep closer to the rocky hillsides.

But balancing growth and climate change has posed a formidable challenge.

Last year temperatures hit 116F (46.6C) in June, setting a new record for such dangerously hot weather so early in the year. Concrete cooked during the day, spitting out heat long after the sun set. Thousands of unhoused residents, outdoor workers and communities that couldn’t afford the rising costs of air conditioning bore the brunt. By July, 12 people lost their lives to the heat. In 2020, the Clark county coroner counted 124 heat-related deaths.

It’s only going to get worse. The city is warming faster than anywhere else in the US. And the future will get hotter, drier and more turbulent, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a consortium of climate scientists from around the world, warned in its most recent report.


Read more in The Guardian

Nevada Plants is Here to Help

We are on the ground planting trees to increase shade and help cool down neighborhoods. With your help, we can do even more. Click below to make a contribution. 

March 2022