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Climate Change News

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The hottest summer most Americans have ever lived through

Via Yale Climate Connections


Mediterranean Style Heat Setting Records

Aug. 13, 2021

Sicily 鈥 Before this week, the small Sicilian town of Floridia had a few claims to fame. The second wife of a Bourbon king was the town鈥檚 duchess. The snails that are a local delicacy are raised here. Its surrounding fields won it the greenest city in Italy prize in 2000. Its mayor is among Italy鈥檚 youngest.

But now Floridia has become known for something else, something far more ominous. It is perhaps the most blisteringly hot town in the recorded history of Europe, offering Italy and the entire Mediterranean a preview of a sweltering and potentially uninhabitable future brought on by the globe鈥檚 changing climate.

鈥淔loridia is now the center of the world when it comes to the climate,鈥 said Mayor Marco Carianni... a day after a nearby monitoring station registered a temperature of 119.84 degrees...

NOAA declares July 2021 the hottest month on Earth since record-keeping began

(August 13) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared July 2021 the world鈥檚 hottest month in 142 years of records. 鈥淚n this case, first place is the worst place to be,鈥 NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement.

鈥淭his new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.鈥

Russia-Siberia Wildfires Rage

Heat Emergency Brings Record Temperature and Fire to Southern Europe

Evacuations Spread as Fires Flare Up

Greece experiences its hottest day on record this week and wildfires leave much of Southern Europe struggling to cope

More history-making fires in California

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Power outages cripple parts of the Middle East amid record heat waves and rising unrest

A team of chemists at the American University in Beirut estimated this month that Lebanon's nearly 24-hour reliance on generators is poisoning the air eight times as fast as when Beirut was operating generators on average only several hours a day. ... The brutal heat is punishing...鈥淭he heat is so bad that it hurts you. It鈥檚 hard to even describe to someone who hasn鈥檛 experienced it,鈥 said Tahsin Mohamed, sitting in his home in the southern Iraqi town of Majer. He rolled up his long, black djellaba shirt to reveal a burn scar etched on his shin.鈥淚magine,鈥 he said. 鈥淭he sun did that to me.鈥


Seven Big Warnings

The 'killer heat wave', the 鈥榟eat dome鈥 signalled our new reality. Here are key issues we must address now 鈥 or pay a big price later.


July 14, 2021

Via Associated Press / By Seth Borenstein

The West is going through 鈥渢he trifecta of an epically dry year followed by incredible heat the last two months and now we have fires,鈥 said University of California Merced climate and fire scientist John Abatzoglou. 鈥淚t is a story of cascading impacts.鈥

And one of climate change, the data shows.


In the past 30 days, the country has set 585 all-time heat records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Of those, 349 are for daily high temperatures and 236 are the warmest overnight low temperatures, which are vital for people to recover from deadly heat waves.


The Middle East is burning. This threat could turn it into scorched earth

Two recent heat waves in the Gulf are a sign of things to come as temperatures rise due to climate change

鈥淏usiness-as-usual will lead to super and ultra-extreme heat waves in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region)鈥

In the space of little more than a month, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates and other countries bordering the Gulf have suffered two blistering heat waves. In back-to-back doozies, temperatures pushed past 50 degrees centigrade (122 degrees fahrenheit), once early June and again in the first days of July. Bahrain experienced its hottest June in nearly a century.

The MENA region is destined to suffer lengthy bouts of temperatures exceeding 55-56 degrees celsius during this century. In urban environments, where an increasing share of the population lives, top temperatures could spike by another 3-4 degrees due to a phenomenon called 鈥渦rban heat islands.鈥

鈥淭he warming is getting worse and getting faster.鈥

Israel, like much of the Middle East, is seeing temperatures rising faster in the summer than in the winter.

Climate change may also strike a final, fatal blow to the many governments in the Arab world that are barely functioning...

North Africa Heat Wave:

Today 11 July was another scorching day with more all time record temperatures set

The Arctic Melts

Highest minimum temperature ever recorded in North America

Highest minimum temperature ever recorded worldwide in July

Trouble in Alaska? Massive oil pipeline is threatened by thawing permafrost

In California鈥檚 interior, there鈥檚 no escape from the desperate heat: 鈥榃hy are we even here?鈥

11 July 2021 was another historic day: Stovepipe Wells in the Death Valley area recorded a new world record of the highest daily average temperature on records with a staggering average temperature of 47.9C.

Death Valley temperatures just got more complicated

Rising temperatures: How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths - Harvard Health

From Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver, Canada, the heat during the end of June didn't just break records; it buried them

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Surface temperatures in Siberia heat up to a mind-boggling 118 degrees

Climate change is behind record-breaking heat waves
From heating human bodies to baking the Earth

Warning Flashes for Europe: Climate Change Will Heat the Continent

During the heat wave of 2003, European cities cooked their people. It was the hottest August in at least half a millennium, temperatures in the high 30s squatted over much of the continent for weeks. The EU estimates that something like 80,000 people died. French President Jacques Chirac attended a somber burial service for 57 people whose bodies were never claimed.

Under any future warming scenario, a summer like 2003 will be disturbingly normal. According to EU research, at 1.5 degrees of warming, around one in every five people in the EU and U.K. will experience similar heat in any given year. At 3 degrees, that rises to more than half the population.

The heat is literally maddening. Italian researchers found a strong link between psychiatric emergencies and daily temperature. Suicides doubled in Moscow during a heat wave in 2010. In Madrid, incidents of domestic violence and women being murdered by their partners jump when the temperature goes over 34 degrees. Hot nights bring climate insomnia.

We aren鈥檛 helping ourselves. An increasing share of Europeans have made their homes in giant, heat-concentrating concrete crucibles. Cities are typically 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. If little is done to reduce global emissions, Europe鈥檚 cities could warm 6 to 10 degrees on top of that. The south will see the greatest increases. In Rome and other Mediterranean cities, the heat will become so intense that traditional architectural systems relying on natural ventilation will no longer function.

It鈥檚 bad timing for an experiment in heat endurance. Not only are millions migrating from rural areas into cement cities; Europe is also getting older and more vulnerable. Better medicine and falling birth rates mean the number of Europeans older than 65 is expected to rise by around 40 million by 2050, even as the overall population slowly declines.

The elderly are at high risk of dying from heat stress and heatstroke. Old bodies also get worn down by heat, making them more susceptible to asthma or cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Hot days see spikes in hospitalizations for age-related complaints. Aging populations are also more likely to be diabetic; heat causes blood vessels to dilate, absorbing insulin and dragging down blood sugar.

The world has barely warmed by more than 1 degree. But in 2010, the heat killed 54,000 in Russia and Central Europe. Eight years later, during a brutal heat wave that climate change made five times more likely, 104,000 died 鈥 the most in any region of the world that year. Germany alone recorded around two-thirds of the heat-related deaths of India, the Lancet medical journal reported, despite having a population 16 times smaller.

At these lower temperature increases, deaths are concentrated in Southern and Central Europe. If warming reaches 3 degrees, 200 million Europeans, not only in the south, but many in the north and the U.K., will live at high risk of heat stress. Without rapid changes to the built environment, the EU says extreme heat could kill 95,000 Europeans every year 鈥 more than 30 times the current average rate.

Of course, there are things we can do. The immediate answer is air conditioning. But that brings its own problems. Energy use for cooling buildings in the Mediterranean 鈥 already a big source of carbon emissions 鈥 will double by 2035. In Southern Europe a new cooling poverty gap is already opening up between those who can afford to beat the heat and those who can鈥檛.

Europe is destined to become a hot continent. Even though Northern Europeans face less steep temperature increases, they need to start thinking like southerners. Buildings designed to trap heat in winter do the same in summer. It costs four times as much to build passive cooling into an existing home than it does to fit it to a new build, according to the U.K.鈥檚 Committee on Climate Change. To cope, the streets of London, Copenhagen and Brussels will need to acquire the romantic, eyelidded feel that heavy wooden shutters bring to Rome and Marseille or the utilitarian look of roller blinds in Athens, Seville or Naples...


America in 2090: The Impact of Extreme Heat, in Maps


The "Wet Bulb"

What's the hottest temperature the human body can endure?

Via Live Science

The 'Wet Bulb' temperature takes into account both heat and humidity

With climate change causing temperatures to rise across the globe, extreme heat is becoming more and more of a health threat. The human body is resilient, but it can only handle so much. So what is the highest temperature people can endure?

The answer is straightforward: a wet-bulb temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius), according to a 2020 study in the journal Science Advances. Wet-bulb temperature is not the same as the air temperature you might see reported by your local forecaster...


"Wet bulb" temperature is the temperature plus relative humidity at which water stops evaporating off a "wet" thermometer bulb. If air is sufficiently humid (saturated w/ water vapor), evaporation will no longer cool the bulb, and it gets continuously hotter.

This matters for humans, because our bodies regulate heat via evaporation: sweat glands carry heat from body to the skin surface, where it evaporates, dissipating heat into the air. As long as you stay hydrated (and take salts! salt is important), you can stay cool at high temps.

However, a key interaction here is evaporation, which is controlled in part by a) amount of energy in the sweat (how much heat it is carrying) and b) how much moisture is already in the air.

Wet bulb (is) about the absorptive capacity of air. A wet bulb temperature in the mid-80s F can, and does, kill humans.

While body temp is ~97-99 F, we maintain temp by sweating. If sweat won't evaporate, our body temp rises, continuously. And when body temp hits ~108, we're dead.

For a vulnerable person in wet bulb temp, this takes much less than an hour.

(GreenPolicy360: Weather forecasters should begin to announce a Wet Bulb / WB temperature and/or a Human Heat Index as a matter of public service)

So, what does this have to do with you? Until last ~ 40 years, wet bulb temperatures were *extremely rare* on this planet.

But that's over, now. We're already seeing multiple wet bulb temperatures per year in multiple locations. By mid-century, parts of the Southeastern U.S will see *weeks* of wet bulbs *every year.*

This is quite bad. Thousands of people will die on each of those days.

Via the Washinton Post

Wet-bulb temperature is important, climate experts say. So what is it?

At a certain threshold of heat and humidity, 鈥渋t鈥檚 no longer possible to be able to sweat fast enough to prevent overheating.鈥

Scientists have found that Mexico and Central America, the Persian Gulf, India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia are all careening toward this threshold before the end of the century.

Hotter than the human body can handle: Pakistan city broils in world鈥檚 highest temperatures

Pakistan along the Indus Valley considered one of the places most vulnerable to climate change in the world, there are fears that Jacobabad's temperatures may increase further, or other cities may join the club.

鈥淭he Indus Valley is arguably close to being the number one spot worldwide,鈥 says Tom Matthews, a lecturer in climate science at Loughborough University. 鈥淲hen you look at some of the things to worry about, from water security to extreme heat, it's really the epicentre.鈥

Mr. Matthews and colleagues last year analysed global weather station data and found that Jacobabad and Ras al Khaimah, north east of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, have both temporarily crossed the deadly threshold. The milestone had been surpassed decades ahead of predictions from climate change models.

The researchers examined what are called wet bulb temperatures. These are taken from a thermometer covered in a water-soaked cloth so they take into account both heat and humidity.

Wet bulb thermometer readings are significantly lower than the more familiar dry bulb readings, which do not take humidity into account. Researchers say that at a wet bulb reading of 35C, the body can no longer cool itself by sweating and such a temperature can be fatal in a few hours, even to the fittest people.

鈥淚t approximates how warm it feels to humans because we cool via sweating,鈥 Mr Matthews says. 鈥淲e rely on that exclusively. When you use that measure, the wet bulb temperature, the two regions that stand out on earth are the shores of the Gulf and the Indus Valley in Pakistan. They are truly exceptional...鈥

鈥淧eople are aware that the heat is getting up and up, but they are poor people. They can't go anywhere, they can't leave their places,鈥 said Zahid Hussain, a market trader. 鈥淚 myself have been thinking about shifting, but have never got around to it.鈥


Dangerous humid heat extremes occurring decades before expected

Oppressively hot summer days often evoke the expression, 鈥渋t鈥檚 not the heat, it鈥檚 the humidity.鈥 That sticky, tropical-like air combined with high temperatures is more than unpleasant 鈥 it makes extreme heat a greater health risk.

Climate models project that combinations of heat and humidity could reach deadly thresholds for anyone spending several hours outdoors by the end of the 21st century. However, new research says these extremes are already happening 鈥 decades before anticipated 鈥 due to global warming to date.

The emergence of heat and humidity too severe for human tolerance


June 2021

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Too Hot-US-June 2021.jpg


Nowhere is safe - The Guardian.jpg


Via The Guardian

A 鈥渉eat dome鈥 without parallel trapped hot air over much of the states of Oregon and Washington in the United States, and southern British Columbia in Canada, in past days, shattering weather records in the usually temperate region.

In Washington and Oregon, largely liberal, climate-conscious states, efforts to combat global heating have long been popular. The Washington governor, Jay Inslee, put himself forward as the 鈥渃limate candidate鈥 during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. He argued residents of the region would, in the absence of federal leadership, 鈥渄o our part to address a global problem鈥.

Climate conversations have generally centered on what north-westerners could do to protect the planet or other people in places at greater risk of extreme heat. But after three days of temperatures near or above 100F (38C) in Seattle 鈥 a city where residents often describe the sixth month as 鈥淛une-uary鈥, as temperatures rarely reach 80F (27C) 鈥 they鈥檙e increasingly concerned about themselves.

鈥淚t felt like we鈥檇 set our Earth on fire,鈥 said Summer Stinson, a 49-year-old resident of Seattle...

Temperatures in tiny Lytton, British Columbia, hit 49.6C (121.3F) and set a Canadian all-time record, days before a wildfire tore through the town. Roads buckled under the heat in Washington and Oregon. Heat and heavy air conditioner use knocked out power for tens of thousands. The dead, thought to number in the hundreds, are not yet counted.

Ron Merkord, CalTech: Lytton, British Columbia, Canada... Named in 1858 for a novelist named Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Two days ago, it set Canada's all time temp record of 121.3F. Yesterday, it hit 121.6F. Today, it burned to the ground. Bulwer-Lytton, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, is responsible for the saying "The pen is mightier than the sword". He is also the writer responsible for the beginning novel line called the worst ever written -- "It was a dark and stormy night..."

In Lytton today, it was indeed a dark and stormy night.

Lytton's municipal website boasts: 鈥淟ytton is the ideal location for nature lovers to connect with incredible natural beauty and fresh air freedom.鈥

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said this week鈥檚 unexpectedly fierce heat at Lytton and elsewhere should prompt climatologists to consider additional impacts of human activity.

鈥淲e should take this event very seriously,鈥 he wrote in an email. 鈥淵ou warm up the planet, you鈥檙e going to see an increased incidence of heat extremes. Climate models capture this effect very well and predict large increases in heat extremes. But there is something else going on with this heatwave, and indeed, with many of the very persistent weather extremes we鈥檝e seen in recent years in the US, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, where the models aren鈥檛 quite capturing the impact of climate change.鈥

Via Climate.gov

Astounding heat obliterates all-time records across the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada

From Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver, Canada, the heat during the end of June didn't just break records; it buried them. Learn more in this Event Tracker post.

Devastating News: Climate Change Impacts to Hit Sooner than Predicted

Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions

Landmark report from the UN's climate science advisors obtained by AFP

Climate change threats to life on Earth are systemic, interconnected and on a scale unprecedented in human history

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Global temperature variations over past 200 years.jpg



Heat Stress in U.S. May Double
Heat stress in US may double by end of century.jpg

Earth trapping unprecedented amount of heat - NASA.jpg

Earth is now trapping an 鈥榰nprecedented鈥 amount of heat, NASA says

New research shows that the amount of heat the planet traps has roughly doubled since 2005, contributing to more rapidly warming oceans, air and land

The amount of heat Earth traps has roughly doubled since 2005, contributing to more rapidly warming oceans, air and land, according to new research from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

鈥淭he magnitude of the increase is unprecedented,鈥 said Norman Loeb, a NASA scientist and lead author of the study, which was published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. 鈥淭he Earth is warming faster than expected.鈥

Using satellite data, researchers measured what is known as Earth鈥檚 energy imbalance 鈥 the difference between how much energy the planet absorbs from the sun, and how much it鈥檚 able to shed, or radiate back out into space.

When there is a positive imbalance 鈥 Earth absorbing more heat than it is losing 鈥 it is a first step toward global warming, said Stuart Evans, a climate scientist at the University at Buffalo. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a sign the Earth is gaining energy.鈥


From Clearwater, Florida, May 2021

GreenPolicy360 Siterunner/SJS:

Trendlines, we are looking at trendlines today. Data, the data changing as time passes. We need to step back and have perspective. We need to look closely, to 'drill down' and see with detail. Measure-to-Manage NASA says, science advises, GreenPolicy360 recommends as a guide.

GreenPolicy360 believes in personal responsibility to manage wisely. We are planet citizens and earth is in human hands. Together we are guiding our planet home into the future. We are delivering a legacy to future generations.

Join planet citizens who are monitoring our Earth's 'Vital Signs'.

One of GreenPolicy360's great concerns is climate change, as all our readers and sharers know. A recent study of a 'new normal' caught our attention today, a global study and national breakout of data changing over time. And as we are looking at this 'new normal' data, a century of temperatures, we cannot help but think what will happen if the temperature increases continue, a trendline into the future, up and up into the 'unliveable... uninhabitable' temperatures range. 'Cooling technology' will be required and being outdoors will be limited...

Let's look more closely, a recent news 'wrap up' from a science reporter for the Associated Press.

Look .... recognize the threats. Act planet citizens, act ....

Via the Washington Post
Unprecedented Heatwave in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
June 29, 2021

Record heat bakes Middle East as temperatures top 125 degrees

It has been called 鈥榯he harshest heat wave in history for this time of the year鈥

June 9, 2021

Via the Boston Globe

Ninety degree days occurring earlier and more often. A rising toll of health effects

What does this say about climate change?

June 7, 2021

Via the Associated Press

Billions projected to suffer nearly unlivable heat in 2070

By Seth Borenstein

May 4, 2020

(AP) 鈥 In just 50 years, 2 billion to 3.5 billion people, mostly the poor who can鈥檛 afford air conditioning, will be living in a climate that historically has been too hot to handle, a new study said.

With every 1.8 degree (1 degree Celsius) increase in global average annual temperature from man-made climate change, about a billion or so people will end up in areas too warm day-in, day-out to be habitable without cooling technology, according to ecologist Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

'How many people will end up at risk depends on how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions are reduced and how fast the world population grows.

Under the worst-case scenarios for population growth and for carbon pollution 鈥 which many climate scientists say is looking less likely these days 鈥 the study in Monday鈥檚 journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicts about 3.5 billion people will live in extremely hot areas. That鈥檚 a third of the projected 2070 population.


GreenPolicy360 / Reporting from our terrestrial home base, Clearwater, Florida, USA:

As just one of multiple examples of what's coming with climate change and global warming, life in Florida, USA is going to be a quite a different experience in the not too distant future. Semi-tropical will become tropical. Then there's the water... not to cool off, but to deal with the consequences of heat...

Florida 13,576 km coastline is at the frontlines of global sea-level rise. Florida is, as few realize is also 'on top of water', situated on a peninsula of 'karst', an ancient seabed of porous limestone. Above the underground water exchange of fresh-and-seawater is a political brew. Florida today, unfortunately, has become chock full of climate-change denying politicos. The state's former governor, now a US Senator, denies climate change is a serious problem, closing his eyes and ears to policy preparation and action as he was reported forbidding state government officials from even using the term 'climate change' .... Florida's following governor, fortunately, is not as extreme in his views and signed a first-ever piece of legislation to establish a state climate-related resiliency program. So there... as of May 2021, signs of environmental protection and progress in the so-called "Sunshine State".

GreenPolicy360 will continue to do what we can to push Florida to become forward-looking. Perhaps a quick look at sea-level rise would be a place to start the new "Too Hot" GreenPolicy360 page.

-- SJS / May 13, 2021

May 2021

Miami gets a "Chief Heat Officer"

by Craig Pittman / Via the Washington Post

Jane Gilbert, the city鈥檚 new chief heat officer, says she will put together a task force of experts to address the problem

Last June, Miami reported its hottest temperatures on record. The daytime sun was brutal and there was little respite even at night. Dozens of heat-related deaths were reported that year.

As the Earth warms, the city by the ocean says its heat problem is poised to become even deadlier.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) recently announced the county was creating a first-of-its-kind position 鈥 chief heat officer.

鈥淲e know extreme heat does not impact people equally 鈥 poorer communities and Black and Hispanic people bear the brunt of the public health impacts,鈥 the mayor said in a statement. A chief heat officer will 鈥渃oordinate our efforts to protect people from heat and save lives.鈥

Q: But heat is such a fact of life in Miami. What makes that deserving of a chief officer?

A: Miami knows heat 鈥 we鈥檙e hot and humid a good part of the year. A heat index of 105 degrees is about when you鈥檝e hit dangerous levels, when people could really suffer from heatstroke.

We currently have an average of seven days where we get over that heat index for a couple of hours. By mid-century, we鈥檙e going to have 88 of those days 鈥 that鈥檚 more than 10 times as many days....

Q: How can you answer someone who challenges the existence of climate change?

A: We don鈥檛 have many of them in Miami-Dade County.

I鈥檝e felt the change in the heat in the 26 years I鈥檝e been here. It鈥檚 hard to argue that heat can鈥檛 be a risk when you鈥檝e seen people die. It鈥檚 the number one climate- and weather-related killer in the United States.

Read Craig's Full Interview with Jane Gilbert


Temperatures New Normal is Not Normal.jpg

NOAA's "new normal" climate report is anything but normal

By Jeff Berardelli

May 8, 2021 / 7:11 AM / CBS News

It doesn't take a climate scientist to see the changes that have occurred. In the maps below, using NOAA data, Climate Central illustrates the warmer temperatures the U.S. has experienced. When comparing the latest "normals" to what used to be normal a century ago, the difference is clear 鈥 seen in red from coast to coast...

Some climate scientists, like Michael Mann of Penn State, don't love the system of reporting new normals. As he told The Associated Press, Mann prefers using a constant baseline because updating what is normal for present-day conditions obscures the long-term warming trend and makes the warming due to climate change seem less significant. "Adjusting normal every 10 years perverts the meaning of 'normal' and 'normalizes' away climate change."

US Annual Temperatures 1901-2020 Average Comparison.jpg

US Climate Normals

The U.S. Climate Normals are a large suite of data products that provide information about typical climate conditions for thousands of locations across the United States. Normals act both as a ruler to compare today鈥檚 weather and tomorrow鈥檚 forecast, and as a predictor of conditions in the near future. The official normals are calculated for a uniform 30 year period, and consist of annual/seasonal, monthly, daily, and hourly averages and statistics of temperature, precipitation, and other climatological variables from almost 15,000 U.S. weather stations.

National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) generates the official U.S. normals every 10 years in keeping with the needs of our user community and the requirements of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and National Weather Service (NWS). The 1991鈥2020 U.S. Climate Normals are the latest in a series of decadal normals first produced in the 1950s. These data allow travelers to pack the right clothes, farmers to plant the best crop varieties, and utilities to plan for seasonal energy usage. Many other important economic decisions that are made beyond the predictive range of standard weather forecasts are either based on or influenced by climate normals.

* https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/about


Future of the Human Climate Niche

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.

May 26, 2020


We show that for thousands of years, humans have concentrated in a surprisingly narrow subset of Earth鈥檚 available climates, characterized by mean annual temperatures around 鈭13 掳C. This distribution likely reflects a human temperature niche related to fundamental constraints. We demonstrate that depending on scenarios of population growth and warming, over the coming 50 y, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity well over the past 6,000 y. Absent climate mitigation or migration, a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to mean annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today.


All species have an environmental niche, and despite technological advances, humans are unlikely to be an exception. Here, we demonstrate that for millennia, human populations have resided in the same narrow part of the climatic envelope available on the globe, characterized by a major mode around 鈭11 掳C to 15 掳C mean annual temperature (MAT). Supporting the fundamental nature of this temperature niche, current production of crops and livestock is largely limited to the same conditions, and the same optimum has been found for agricultural and nonagricultural economic output of countries through analyses of year-to-year variation. We show that in a business-as-usual climate change scenario, the geographical position of this temperature niche is projected to shift more over the coming 50 y than it has moved since 6000 BP. Populations will not simply track the shifting climate, as adaptation in situ may address some of the challenges, and many other factors affect decisions to migrate. Nevertheless, in the absence of migration, one third of the global population is projected to experience a MAT >29 掳C currently found in only 0.8% of the Earth鈥檚 land surface, mostly concentrated in the Sahara. As the potentially most affected regions are among the poorest in the world, where adaptive capacity is low, enhancing human development in those areas should be a priority alongside climate mitigation.

Heat Stress (HS) in Earth's Future


2020 Tied for Warmest Year on Record, NASA Analysis Shows

Climate 2020: How Excess Heat is Expressed on Earth

Fastest Warming Cities and States in the U.S.

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Changes in carbon dioxide per 1000 years - via Climate Central.jpg
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide levels the past 1 million years - via Climate Central.jpg

CH4 graph - 1980-2020.JPG

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