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Even More Hot Times Are Coming ... Soon July 16, 2010
Thermometer graphic
"In the next 30 years, we could see an increase in heat waves like the one now occurring in the eastern United States or the kind that swept across Europe in 2003 that caused tens of thousands of fatalities." — Noah Diffenbaugh
The sweltering heat waves that have baked several parts of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two weeks will become commonplace within the lifetimes of most of the world’s current inhabitants, according to a new report.

Researchers from Stanford University confirm earlier studies that point to the average temperature reaching 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit higher within 30 years than it was in the mid-1800s.

Noah Diffenbaugh says he and his team also found that the longest heat waves on record that occurred between 1951 and 1999 will likely become five times as frequent between 2020 and 2029.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers caution that the 2030s are likely to become even hotter.

“By the decade of the 2030s, we see persistent, drier conditions over most of the U.S.,” writes Diffenbaugh.

“Not only will the atmosphere heat up from more greenhouse gases, but we also expect changes in the precipitation and soil moisture that are very similar to what we see in hot, dry periods historically,” Diffenbaugh added.

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