Extreme Weather Events are Happening More Frequently
When you think summer, you tend to think HOT. But how often do you experience record-breaking heat? More often than in the past, according to current climate scientists.
Australia’s Angry Summer (2013) and the heat waves in Texas (2011) and Russia (2010) give us a preview of what’s to come. In an analysis of historical heat records from 17 weather stations around the world, climate scientists reported that the number of monthly heat records is more than three times as high as expected if climate change were not occurring4. In the U.S., more monthly high temperature records were broken in the past decade than during the Great Dust Bowl of the 1930’s3.
Not only have monthly and night-time heat records been on the rise, but so has the frequency of heat waves. During the past five decades, the number of extreme heat waves increased from 6 events in the 1950’s to 72 events in the 2000’s (Figure 3). Lasting longer and occurring with more intensity, heat waves caused over $22 billion (USD) in economic damages between 1981 and 2010.