Saturday, July 20, 2019

Heating up in America

More than half the US was under excessive heat warnings on Friday amid a brutal heatwave – which experts warned could become the “new normal” because of the climate crisis.  167 million people are under a heat advisory or excessive heat warning.

Forecasters warned of “very dangerous heat” as temperatures rose to 100F (37.7C) – particularly in urban areas where the mass of buildings creates “heat islands”. Alerts were in place in states as far reaching as New Mexico and Maine.

A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found the number of extremely hot days in the US could more than double as the impact of the climate crisis is felt.

Experts warned that heatwaves are likely to become common as global heating increases their strength and likelihood, with their impact felt by millions of Americans and by agriculture.

Deke Arndt, chief of the monitoring branch for National Centres for Environmental Information, said: “That’s what’s happening. And indeed, if that’s what plays out over this coming several days, that kind of reinforces that statistical pattern.” He added: “The long-term increase in these dimensions of heatwaves is directly related to global warming.”

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