Monday, March 19, 2018

Human Influence on Climate Change Will Fuel More Extreme Heat Waves in US

The four dominant heat wave clusters (i.e., Western, Northern Plains, Southern Plains, and Great Lakes) are embedded on top of a population count of US counties (gray shading) units of population per arc-second squared or about 600m2. The 21st Century years provided below the name of each cluster represents the decade for which Human-caused climate change may be a dominant factor in the occurrence of heat waves when compared to natural variability. (Credit: Hosmay Lopez) Click to Enlarge.
Human-caused climate change will drive more extreme summer heat waves in the western U.S., including in California and the Southwest as early as 2020, new research shows.

The new analysis of heat wave patterns across the U.S., led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM) based Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and colleagues, also found that human-made climate change will be a dominant driver for heat wave occurrences in the Great Lakes region by 2030, and in the Northern and Southern Plains by 2050 and 2070, respectively.

Human-made climate change is the result of increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.

"These are the years that the human contributions to climate change will become as important as natural variability in causing heat waves," said lead author Hosmay Lopez, a CIMAS meteorologist based at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory.  "Without human influence, half of the extreme heat waves projected to occur during this century wouldn't happen."

Read more at Human Influence on Climate Change Will Fuel More Extreme Heat Waves in US

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