August 20, 2009

Hotter U.S. summers are forecast

If you think this summer's U.S. temperatures have been uncomfortably high, scientists say one day your children may view summer 2009 as the cool old days.

Researchers at the non-profit organization Climate Central say they reached that conclusion after analyzing current climate change projections made with global climate models.

They said scientific literature based on the models anticipates much more frequent occurrences of hot days, heat waves and extremely warm summer seasons.

The scientists said the projections suggests that across a large number of U.S. cities, the average number of days in August with temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit could nearly triple by 2050, and the average number of days over 100 degrees could nearly double.

Worldwide, since 1995, tens of thousands of people have died in heat waves. Other important impacts include increases in demand for energy, particularly electricity for cooling, and increases in urban and agricultural water demand.

The severity of increases in extreme heat and their impacts will depend on the extent of future use of fossil fuels, officials said.

We do have some choice here, said Berrien Moore III, Climate Central's executive director. How hot it will get will depend on the choices we make about energy and transportation in the years to come.

Climate Central's August analyses is available at