Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Nights Are Getting Hotter.  That’s a Problem for Heath, Crops, and Wildfires.

Higher nighttime temperatures as the climate changes can leave homes and humans little chance to cool off.  It’s affecting agriculture and wildfire activity, too.

... People often talk about record high temperatures for a given day of the year as the most immediate evidence that climate change has arrived.  Heat waves, when records fall for several days in a row across broad regions, are another.  And in the past week or two, that's been the focus of news reports.  Temperature records were across the United States and all over the world.  Other extreme events punctuated the narrative, such as the extreme flooding in Japan, where the death toll surpassed 100.

But it's also important to consider the problem of higher temperatures during the coolest part of the day.

It may help explain why more than 50 people died in Quebec, Canada, in early July, as temperatures reached into the 80s and 90s.  Although it cooled somewhat at night, for most of the week in Montreal, the overnight temperature still stayed above 70 degrees.  Homes and buildings without air conditioning didn't have much chance to cool down, and neither did the people inside.

Night Temps Are Rising Faster Than in the Day
Scientists have been remarking on the nighttime anomalies for several years.

In 2015 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted that, "As the world warms, nighttime temperatures are slightly outpacing daytime temperatures in the rate of warming."

The following year, 2016, ranked as the third warmest year ever in the United States when looking at average temperatures.  But when looking at the nation's overnight minimums, 2016's were the warmest ever.

Read more at Summer Nights Are Getting Hotter.  That’s a Problem for Heath, Crops, and Wildfires.

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