Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Future Summers Could Regularly Be Hotter than the Hottest on Record

If greenhouse gas emissions remain unabated. virtually every summer between 2061-2080 could be hotter than any in the historical record. (Credit: © Sunny Forest / Fotolia) Click to Enlarge.
In 50 years, summers across most of the globe could regularly be hotter than any summer experienced so far by people alive today, according to a study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the probability that any summer between 2061 and 2080 will be warmer than the hottest on record is 80 percent across the world's land areas, excluding Antarctica, which was not studied.

If greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, however, that probability drops to 41 percent, according to the study.

"Extremely hot summers always pose a challenge to society," said NCAR scientist Flavio Lehner, lead author of the study.  "They can increase the risk for health issues, but can also damage crops and deepen droughts.  Such summers are a true test of our adaptability to rising temperatures."

The study, which is available online, is part of an upcoming special issue of the journal Climatic Change that will focus on quantifying the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Read more at Future Summers Could Regularly Be Hotter than the Hottest on Record

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