LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Americans celebrated the first earth day in the year of 1970, and since then, global temperatures have risen by almost 2-degrees. Experts say that small number comes with significant consequences.  

Las Vegas is among the fastest-warming cities in the U.S. The total temperature change since the 1970s has been 5.76 degrees.

“Since 1970 we were a population of maybe 270,000 people; were well over 2 million now,” said Barry Pierce, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Pierce says urbanization is the reason for the bump in heat.

“Since then all the urbanization; concrete blacktop has just continued seeing warmer temperatures across Las Vegas valley.

Just last month, the valley went through its second hottest August on record.

“It is an increase an of our climate records; it’s most notable in the overnight temperatures,” Pierce said.

The low temperatures are not cooling down the area like they used to back in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

“So far this year we’ve issued six excessive heat warnings for Las Vegas,” according to Pierce and they all lasted for several days.

“America’s Fastest Warming Cities” are all in the southwest. Las Vegas, El Paso, Tucson, and Phoenix have warmed more than any cities in the country.

Dale Koirman has lived in las vegas for 10 years. He says he has noticed the increase in temperature each year.

“With the rainforest fire’s going on right now that’s going to cause some concern within the next years to come,” he said.

“We look at the climate statistics, and global warming models continue to indicate definitely the southwest U.S. will continue to see an increase in temperatures throughout the next century,” said Pierce. 

Planting more trees, enforcing energy-efficient building standards, and building up rather than out, are some possible ways that could prevent the valley from getting even hotter.