Pacific Northwest Heatwave Study Predicts More Extreme Heat


The severe heatwave that hit the Pacific Northwest in late June has stunned some climate scientists as it was far more extreme than anything the region had experienced before.

In most heatwaves, if local temperature records are broken, it can be a few degrees Celsius at most. But in the Pacific Northwest, records — and there were many — were 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than previous high temperatures.

This led a team of scientists. who read the event A mechanism that links global warming to very extreme heat, which they don’t fully understand, to suggest that something different could happen.

A new study published Monday offers some insight into why the Pacific Northwest heatwave may have occurred, even though the article was researched, written and reviewed long before this event. The study also suggests that unless drastic measures are taken to curb climate change, the world can expect more unusual heatwaves in the future.

Erich Fischer of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues used computer simulations of the earth’s climate to see how warming affects the likelihood of such extreme heatwaves. Study Published in Nature Climate Change.

Such record-breaking heatwaves, as research on the Pacific Northwest event found it would be practically impossible in a warming world. Dr. Fischer and colleagues found that warming makes them more likely and depends on how likely it is rather than the absolute amount of warming.

This is an important distinction, and one that has real-world implications outside of simulations, because the rate of warming has increased in recent years as society continues to pump large amounts of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Two-thirds of the warming that has occurred since the 19th century has occurred since 1975.

The study found that if warming continues at a relatively rapid pace, such record-breaking heatwaves will be up to 21 times greater towards the end of the 21st century than in the past 30 years.

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, one of the leaders of the Pacific Northwest heat wave study, said he was impressed by the new research because he came to the same conclusion despite using different methods.

In an email message, “21. At the end of the century they looked at it in the model world, at the turn of the century we in the real world,” he said. “But they’re both finding these big jumps.”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *