Joanie June 16th, 2009
DEFINITIVE NOAA-LED REPORT ON U.S. CLIMATE WARNS OF HELLISH TEMPS
June 15, 2009
Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns
of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year — and that isn¹t the worst case, it¹s business as usual!
If humanity stays near our current greenhouse gas emissions path, then
Americans face hell — every state will be red.
The thermometer in this landmark U.S. government report puts warming at 9 to 11°F over the vast majority of the inland U.S. — and that is only the
average around 2090 (compared to 1961-1979 baseline). On this emissions
path, the IPCC¹s A2 scenario, most of the inland United States will be
warming about 1°F a decade by century¹s end. Worse, we are on pace to
exceed the A2 scenario (which is ³only² about 850 ppm in 2100): See U.S.
media largely ignores latest warning from climate scientists: ³Recent
observations confirm S the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even
worse) are being realised² — 1000 ppm.
So this part of my not-so-well-funded analysis appears to hold up well:
³Yes, the science says on our current emissions path we are projected to
warm most of U.S. 10 - 15°F by 2100.²
But I¹m getting ahead of the story. On Tuesday at 1:30 PM, the US Global
Change Research Program is releasing its long-awaited analysis of Global
Climate Change Impacts in United States with NOAA as lead agency.
But impatient CP readers need look no further than here for the third draft
of the report, which has been online since April 27. That¹s where I got the
figure above from. [You can see the letters F and T from "DRAFT" stamped
across the figure. I'll update this post with the final figures when they
How hot will it be? Here¹s another stunning figure from the report:
“The average number of days per year when the maximum temperature exceeded 90°F from 1961-1979 (top) and the projected number of days per year above 90°F by the 2080s and 2090s for lower emissions (middle [550 ppm]) and higher emissions (bottom). Much of the southern United States is projected to have more than twice as many days per year above 90°F by the end of this century.”
Look at Kansas. By 2090, it¹ll be above 90°F some 120 days a year — more
than the entire summer. Much of Florida and Texas will be above 90°F for
half the year. These won¹t be called heat waves anymore. It¹ll just be the
Again, this isn¹t news to CP readers. Last July I summarized the very modest U.S. ³heat wave² literature as follows (see ³When can we expect extremely high surface temperatures?³):
“Bottom line: By century¹s end, extreme [i.e. peak] temperatures of up to
122°F would threaten most of the central, southern, and western U.S. Even
worse, Houston and Washington, DC could experience temperatures exceeding 98°F for some 60 days a year.
“So this is truly Hell — to match the High Water: Greenland ice sheet
melting faster than expected and could raise East Coast sea levels an extra
20 inches by 2100 — to more than 6 feet.”
The time to act is long past.
I will have much more to blog on this essential report this week.
³Catastrophic² 5-7°C warming by 2100 on current emissions path
M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F
A (Hopefully) Clarifying Note on Temperature
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Published by David Sunfellow
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