Rise in severity of hottest days outpaces global average temperature increase

Rise in severity of hottest days outpaces global average temperature increase

SOURCE: University of California Irvine (UCI) News DATE: January 24, 2018 SNIP: While our planet’s average annual temperature has increased at a steady pace in recent decades, there has been an alarming jump in the severity of the hottest days of the year during that same period, with the most lethal effects in the world’s largest cities. Engineers at the University of California, Irvine have learned that urban centers with more than 5 million inhabitants and parts of Eurasia and Australia have been hardest hit by the accelerated growth in short-term, extreme-heat events, resulting in lost lives, reduced agricultural productivity and damage to infrastructure. In a paper appearing in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future, the researchers report that their analysis of temperature readings from the most recent 50- and 30-year periods rules out the possibility that natural climate variability is to blame for the mercury rising. “The global average annual temperature has increased over the past three decades at a rate of 0.20 degrees Celsius per decade, but we have found that the maximum temperature of the year has climbed at a much faster rate – two to three times higher in such regions as Eurasia and parts of Australia and more than three times higher in some megacities,” said Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, UCI Distinguished Professor of civil & environmental engineering and senior author on the study. “These results are alarming and yet more evidence of the harsh impact of global warming being felt by people around the world...
The Science Behind Arizona’s Record-Setting Heatwave

The Science Behind Arizona’s Record-Setting Heatwave

SOURCE: Pacific Standard Magazine DATE: June 20, 2017 SNIP: In the Arizona desert, as far back as weather records go, it’s never been this hot for this long. By early Monday afternoon, the temperature was 111 degrees in Tucson, the first in a forecasted series of a record-setting seven consecutive days with highs above 110, the longest streak in city history. (The previous record, should it fall, was six days in a row in 1994.) In Phoenix, just to the north, temperatures were even hotter. Meteorologists there are expecting temperatures to run as high as 120 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday, at the apex of the heat wave. The National Weather Service is calling the heat wave “extreme even by desert...