Tuesday May 12th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: A Hot Future Trapping Many Indoors
Dear Diary: Segueing from yesterday’s forecast of hotter than average conditions making an appearance across most of the United States soon, we are seeing new studies published this April and May indicating that our path is set towards running into torrid conditions keeping many indoors for perhaps months on end. Imagine that you live in Dallas, for example, in the year 2060. Say that it is early June and the weather forecast for the next ten days is for maxes between 108-120°F and mins between 85-90°F with high humidity. Would you want to spend much time outdoors? Of course not!
Yet, indeed that is what that city and much of the rest of the planet will be facing if we don’t get our carbon house in order very soon. Here is another take on our hot future from Reuters:
Life-threatening extreme heat set to trap millions indoors by 2060
Farming and commerce likely to be disrupted in countries with deadly heat and humidity
By Thin Lei Win
ROME, May 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Extreme heat and humidity are increasing across the globe, threatening millions of lives and economies in places where it could become fatal to work outdoors, scientists said on Friday.
Parts of Australia, India, Bangladesh, the Persian Gulf, China, Mexico and the United States have experienced hundreds of previously rare incidents of extreme heat and humidity since 1979, said the study in the journal Science Advances.
These punishing conditions have lasted only one to two hours but climate change is likely to prolong them to about six hours at a time by 2060 and expand the affected areas, lead author Colin Raymond told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“That’s kind of a conservative estimate but that’s still earlier than anyone else had projected,” said Raymond, who did the research as a PhD student at Columbia University and now works for NASA.
Moist, humid conditions make it harder for people to sweat away excess heat, leading to health risks including heat stroke, which can kill or disable victims who go untreated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Many scientists are examining the potential increase in extreme heat and its impact on economies and health, with mental health problems set to soar as people have trouble sleeping and working.
Limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial times is the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and world temperatures have already risen by 1.2C.
A separate paper published this week by the Netherland’s Wageningen University warned of “near-unlivable” heat of above 29 degrees Celsius (84.2°F) for a third of humanity by 2070.
In the Columbia University-led study, data from nearly 8,000 weather stations showed readings approaching or exceeding 30C have doubled since 1979, and two – in the Persian Gulf and Pakistan’s Indus River Valley – reported values above 35C.
“We may be closer to a real tipping point on this than we think,” Radley Horton, co-author and climate scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in a statement.
The highest readings were in parts of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, home to some 3 million people.
Surviving in these conditions would require adapting buildings to provide shade and cooling and human behaviour, which includes minimising outdoor labour, said Raymond.
This could severely disrupt farming and commerce, with many poor people unable to afford air conditioning, said Horton.
The study focused on “wet bulb” temperatures, which scientists say reflect the combined effects of temperature and humidity, a more useful indicator of heat stress.
Russian heatwaves in 2010, with temperatures of nearly 40C which killed tens of thousands of people, experienced wet bulb temperatures “no greater than 28C”, the paper said.
(Reporting By Thin Lei Win @thinink, Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
The jury is still out on whether the United States will see a big preview of what might be occurring by mid-century with spring and summer heat. Of course, we will be focusing on any heat wave conditions as the warm season progresses across the Northern Hemisphere this summer.
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
(As usual, the most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Here are more chilly “ET’s” from this week’s cold outbreak:
(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”