Researchers at Nasa are warning that unless growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be successfully curbed, large areas of the eastern US – from Washington DC to Florida, can expect to suffer through catastrophically hotter summers within a couple of generations.
A study released by Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University finds that by 2080 average summer high temperatures in parts of the east will be about 10F higher than now, pushing them from the low to mid-80s to the low to mid-90s.
Moreover, in particularly dry years with only limited rainfall to cool conditions, average high temperatures in cities as far apart as Atlanta, Washington DC and even Chicago to the north could peak at a baking 110F.
“Our analysis shows that there is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures, especially during summers with less-than-average rainfall,” confirmed the Nasa researcher Barry Lynn, who is also a lead author of the new report. “Using high resolution weather prediction models, we showed how greenhouse gases enhance feedbacks between precipitation, radiation, and atmospheric circulation that will likely lead to extreme temperatures in our not-so-distant future,” he added.