Hotter summers, warmer winters? New climate report offers devastating prospects

(NEXSTAR) – It might be hard to imagine warmer days ahead – especially with one Strong El Niño is likely to bring more snow This year — but a new federal climate report shows the U.S. could face severe heat in the coming decades due to global warming.

The Fifth National Climate AssessmentThe study, released earlier this month, shows that the planet is likely to warm by an average of 4.5 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit compared to pre-industrial times – exceeding the goals of both the U.S. and the international community, according to The Hill Reports.

Significant temperature changes are expected in the United States: With global warming of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature here could rise between 4.4 and 5.6 degrees, the report says.

Alaska is expected to be hardest hit, with some areas seeing average temperatures rise by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the coming decades.

Elsewhere in the U.S., the Midwest, the Northeast and much of the mountainous West could see average temperatures rise by 5 degrees. In most parts of the U.S., the average temperature is likely to rise by about 4 degrees.

The projected changes in annual surface temperature compared to the last three decades with global warming of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. (USGCRP, NOAA NCEI and CISESS NC)

In areas directly on the West Coast and near the Gulf of Mexico, temperatures could only increase by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit at a global warming level (global average temperature change compared to pre-industrial temperatures) of 3.6 degrees.

Changes in the average annual temperature can also lead to different extremes.

With global warming of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), much of the U.S. would see more days with temperatures of 95 degrees or higher. Particularly parts of Florida could see a surge of 45 days or more if temperatures are at or above 95 degrees. Parts of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama could see an increase of 30 hot days.

These same regions may forego cooler nights to combat the heat, the report said. An area from Texas and Nebraska east to Florida and the Atlantic Coast could see a rise of up to 45 degrees on nights when the temperature does not fall below 70 degrees. In the Midwest and Southwest, the frequency of these nights could increase by 20 to 30 days.

Cold days could also become fewer. The report estimates that the Northwest could see up to 45 fewer days with temperatures at or below 32 degrees. Across the Northeast and Midwest, there could be between 20 and 30 fewer days where the temperature is at or below 32 degrees.

These maps show the changes in hot days, cold days and warm nights with global warming of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to the last three decades. (NOAA NCEI and CISESS NC)

If global warming increases even further, even to 5.4 or 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, average temperatures across the U.S. could rise increase by up to 11 degreesexplains the climate report.

The report’s authors note that the amount of warming in the U.S. — and when a certain temperature threshold is exceeded — depends on future global emissions.

These forecasts come just weeks after experts reported that last month was the hottest October on record globally. That marks that fifth month in a row With such a value, it will now almost certainly be the warmest year ever recorded.

Scientists monitor climate variables to understand how our planet evolves as a result human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. A warmer planet means more extreme and intense weather events like severe drought or Hurricanes that contain more watersaid Peter Schlosser, vice president and vice provost of the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University.

“This is a clear sign that we are introducing a climate regime that will have greater impacts on more people,” Schlosser said. “We should better heed this warning, which we should have heeded 50 or more years ago, and draw the right conclusions.”

Rachel Frazin of The Hill and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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