Extra-hot summers to stay for 20 to 60 years: Scientists

Extra-hot summers to stay for 20 to 60 years: Scientists

In the study to be published in the journal Climate Change, researchers at the Stanford University claimed that many tropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America could see "the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat" in the next two decades.

The middle latitudes of Europe, China and North America, including the US, are also likely to undergo extreme summer temperature shifts within 60 years, they found.

"According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years," lead researcher Noah Diffenbaugh was quoted as saying by LiveScience.

Though no single extreme weather event can be linked to global warming, the scientists said as the planet warms, we should expect more extremes, such as heat waves.

"At what point can we expect the coolest seasonal temperatures to always be hotter than the historically highest temperatures for that season?" Diffenbaugh said.

For their study, the researchers analysed more than 50 climate model experiments, which included computer simulations of the 21st century (when carbon emissions are expected to increase) and those of the 20th century that have accurately predicted climate over the last 50 years. They also looked at historical data from weather stations around the world.
Results showed the tropics are heating up the fastest.

"We find that the most immediate increase in extreme seasonal heat occurs in the tropics, with up to 70 per cent of seasons in the early 21st century (2010 to 2039) exceeding the late-20th century maximum," the authors wrote.

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