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Scientists Predict Extreme Heat Will Be The Norm In 20 Years

Scientists Predict Extreme Heat Will Be The Norm In 20 Years

A recent study conducted by scientists at Stanford University found thatámany tropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America could see “the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat” in the next two decades. Middle latitudes, like Europe, China and the United Statesáare likely to undergo extreme summer temperature shifts within 60 years, the researchers found.

This symptom of climate change is expected to develop so quickly that by the middle of this century even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years.

Although its effects are more widely varied, many people interpret climate change to mean global warming: the gradual raising of average temperatures across the entire planet.

“…People often ask if that means that the hottest temperatures will become ‘the new normal,’” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh. “That got us thinking ľ at what point can we expect the coolest seasonal temperatures to always be hotter than the historically highest temperatures for that season?”

According to both the climate model analysis and the historical weather data, the tropics are heating up the fastest. “We find that the most immediate increase in extreme seasonal heat occurs in the tropics, with up to 70 percent of seasons in the early 21st century (2010-2039) exceeding the late-20th century maximum,” the authors wrote.

Permanent changes in temperatures like the ones predicted by the Stanford scientists will haveásevere consequences for human health, agricultural production and ecosystem productivity.

Unfortunately, the scientists’ research was based onáa relatively moderate forecast of greenhouse gas emissions in the 21st century, meaning that if human contributions to climate change continue unchecked into the next decade, consequences could be even more severe than predicted.

Related Reading:

Climate Change Shrinks Global Crop Yields, Study Finds

“Climate Change Is Real: We Are Causing It”

TheáLink Between Climate Change And Extreme Weather Events

via Discovery

Image Credit: Flickr – basykes

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83 comments

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6:09PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Thank you for informing us about the truth related to global warming!

4:06AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

I do wish the animation had included Australia. Since we're in the Southern Hemisphere and have a big chunk of the earth's population living nearby (the various Asian countries such as Indonesia, India, New Zealand, Melanesia, etc, plus the earth's coldest continent, Antarctica, it would have been nice to be included. But no, we saw North and South America, and a bit of Africa and Europe. Why so Northern-centric? Or does global warming only affect one half of the world?

9:32AM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Irrespective of what is causing climate change, world leaders ought to now be meeting to discuss agricultural security - the continued ability to meet on an ever increasing basis the world's growing humam population which clocked 40 billion last year.

Existing farms worldwide are having to find innovative ways of producing greater yield per hectare - every year! That puts great strain on the land under crops. It can only continue for so long before the land is exhausted, and the crops fail.

The only viable answer is to reduce the number of humans living on the planet - and this is the really thorny issue no one will address because the Muslims are now breeding like the Catholics of old used to - breed 'em until you outnumber anyone else.

World leaders need to address population control and food security urgently.

Educate yourselves and then lobby your government to meet with other government leaders to discuss and formulate policies on food security and population control.

Global warming will come and we will adapt - but if we keep breeding and eating at an exponential rate we will wipe ourselves out via wars, starvation and disease.

1:32PM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

Noted with interest.

9:01PM PDT on Jul 4, 2011

When the global warming/climate change theories started surfacing, scientists on Exxon's payroll denied it existed. When the evidence began to mount, they finally admitted it was happening, but now they claim it is not human caused. Meanwhile, the weather has become more severe and 7 of the last 10 years are the hottest on record. We have hurricanes/tornados happening where ythey never occurred before and our parched forests are going up in flames. More species are becoming endangered. The icecaps are melting, the sea level is rising. But these industry backed scientist want to debate the cause and the repudlicken echo chamber is pumping out the disinformation to the point that many ordinary citizens are confused about the facts. The repudlickens point their fingers at Al Gore and say he will profit if cap & trade happens ... meanwhile Exxon and the Kochs continue to make record profits from peddling ther dirty energy products. So while this boring debate goes on, I have some advise to keep you all occupied. Learn to swim.

5:55PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

Michael P.,

Climate change does exist, as I mentioned we've had warm periods and ice-ages through out Earth's history.

Regardless, the degree to which we are told that CO2 and CH4 affect our climate are clearly misrepresented for the reasons I explained before. Additionally climate scientists have misrepresented a variety of scientific data as to suggest that we are encountering apocalyptic temperature rises, and that's simply not true.

5:58AM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

Thank you so much

1:42PM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

But climate change is a myth! Just ask any radical repooplican.

9:02PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

As of May, 2011 overall CO2 emissions were approximately 395 parts per million. This might not seem like a useful figure, but to put it into perspective: During the Paleozoic Era, the highest CO2 concentrations were approximately 19 times present day during the Cambrian Period, at 7,000 parts per million; during the Ordovician period, CO2 levels were 12 times higher than today at 4,400 parts per million and during the Late-Ordovician period there was actually an ice-age though there were parts of the Ordovician period as well as the Carboniferous period where temperatures were about the same as present (these were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era where global temperatures were this low) -- one would expect the Earth to have been exceedingly hot, yet it wasn't.

5:44PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

In the entire clip, the Americas (North and South Continents) were shown many times, and Europe and Africa once. But where was Australia, India, the Polynesian countries, in fact, most of the Southern Hemisphere? Don't we exist? Global Warming isn't something that will only effect the Northern Hemisphere, hence the name "Global". Hopefully eventually someone will realize that the world is not only populated by the US and Europe!

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