We’re chilled out here right now, but the US midsection is currently sweltering under a phenomenon termed the ‘heat dome,’ or just being way-sweaty, and way-hot.
(Illustration found here).
In our environment, hard to understand the weather back yonder, unless you grew-up in the Mid West or South, dry-heat is shitsville. This ‘heat dome’ is really upper level high pressure system, which isn’t moving much, and churns out the hot air, stretching from the Gulf Coast northward to Canada — Cedar Rapids, Iowa, could see 113-degrees today.
Although this is July and it’s supposed to be hot, the big bitch is the intensity and the duration of the heat, and it’s not getting much-cooler at night.
Running hot ain’t good — Via Mashable on Monday:
Although the heat may not topple many records, the combination of temperatures running between 15 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit above normal along with high humidity will make this heat event a particularly dangerous one for public health.
As of Monday morning, at least 14 states had some type of extreme heat-related weather alert in place, from Louisiana to Minnesota.
High temperatures in some areas will be well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37.8 degrees Celsius, with heat indexes — which corresponds to how hot the air will feel to the human body — even higher than that.
The clockwise circulation of air around this high is dragging moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and pumping it northward, all the way to Canada, which is resulting in the high humidity levels.
And the obvious — climate change, and these type phenomenon?
While a heat wave in mid-July somewhere in the country is a typical occurrence, extreme, long-lasting heat waves that come with high humidity are a hallmark of global warming.
As average temperatures increase around the world, there is a higher probability of extreme heat events, and this has already been observed in the U.S. and other countries.
A study published in 2015 in the journal Nature Climate Change found that the probability of 1-in-1,000-day hot extremes over land is already about five times higher than it was in pre-industrial times, when global average surface temperatures were lower.
To put it another way, the study found that about 75 percent of “those moderate hot extremes are attributable to warming.”
Coincidentally, these particular situations were noted in six scientific papers published Tuesday, which detailed effects of a warming world, and a culture-society embedded with conditioning the air to offset outside heat, a kind of feedback process, makes shit shittier.
Noted points via Climate News Network:
One of the side-effects of this increased heat is the demand for cooling, which is placing a major strain on electricity infrastructure.
Dr Kjellstrom notes that the additional energy needed for a single city the size of Bangkok for each 1°C increase of average ambient temperature can be as much as 2,000 MW, which is more than the output of a major power plant.
The rising demand for cooling also contributes to warming the world.
Air conditioners not only pump heat out directly, the electricity required is typically produced by burning fossil fuels, adding to atmospheric greenhouse gases.
People acclimatised to air conditioning also become less heat tolerant, further increasing demand for cooling.
But heat stress is only one of the problems addressed by the papers.
Just think about all the air conditioners humming-hard right now in America’s heartland — domes of cool, fighting the dome of heat…