Climate Change Crises: Heat Wave Sets More Records

Unless you're living in an air-conditioned underground compound, you know that a large majority of the United States is experiencing a tough heat wave right now—one that's left 20 million people without power across the country. And as climate change sweeps the globe, the shift keeps setting records, with cities in the South hitting the highest: Macon, Georgia, hit 108 degrees, which hasn't been observed since 1980. Here's why we should be worried:

It is unusual for all-time high temperature records to be set during June, since July and August typically feature more intense heat events than those that take place during early summer.


In a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1, and this imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm. According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even. Other studies have shown that climate change increases the odds of extreme heat events and may make them warmer and longer lasting.

It's only going to get worse, everybody.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 2, 2012, 8:06am

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