Hot Summer Fires

June 21, 2016

fires12410_468x600Overcast and gloomy-looking this early Tuesday on California’s north coast — a temporary gray as way-most-likely the sun will dramatically appear soon and wash away the sad.
Dry for at least the next 10 days, maybe longer as the summer cranks itself into gear.

A perfect pitch for a searing fire season ahead for California, and the western US — two big fires down south cranked-up on Monday in the wake of searing temperatures.
As she evacuated her home near Bradbury yesterday, 17-year-old Tawni Atencio responded dramatically: ‘“It looked like a bomb exploded. It’s scary. We’re just praying it doesn’t get to our house.”

Greatly influencing all these fires is a roaring heat wave washing across California and the Western US.

(Illustration: ‘Witch Creek Fire,’ near San Diego, October 2007, found here).

Summer burn — Palm Springs recorded 123 degrees yesterday, a new daily record; hottest spot in the whole country was Death Valley, registering 126 degrees.
Meanwhile: ‘In Phoenix, temperatures hit 115 degrees — hot enough to fry an egg on pavement, residents pointed out on social media.’

The California south-land is expected to really, really heat up — the LA Times this morning:

But by the year 2050, there could be 22 days of extreme heat in Los Angeles, and by 2100, there could be 54 such days, a study released by UCLA scientists last year said.
It gets even worse the farther inland you go.

“A new season of extreme heat” likely lies in our future, the UCLA scientists warned.
By 2050, the most likely average future August will be warmer than the hottest August of the 1980s and 1990s, they said.
In fact, L.A.’s future winters will be most similar to how April felt in the ’80s and ’90s.
“We have to confront this,” study co-author Alex Hall, a professor at UCLA’s atmospheric and oceanic sciences department, said in an interview last year.
“Climate change is inevitable in this region.”

Understated — climate change will blister everybody.
Via Inside Climate News yesterday:

By 2060, large swaths of the planet could be hit by unprecedented heat waves during the summer months that would exceed all historical records, according to a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Just as a severe heat wave sizzles the U.S. Southwest, sending temperatures in parts of Arizona to 120 degrees, this new study predicts similarly dangerous heat will become more commonplace.
Without major reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, the study said there is a 90 percent chance that every summer will be at least as warm as the hottest to date across large parts of North and South America, Central Europe, Asia and Africa.

Also included in the article:

Another new study—by researchers with the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute—predicted extreme and persistent heat across North Africa and parts of the Middle East by mid-century that would directly threaten human health.
The average summer maximum temperatures in the region covered by the study would rise from 109 degrees Fahrenheit to about 115 degrees by 2050, and as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, the study concluded.
It was published online and will appear in July in the journal Climatic Change.
Yet another recent study, also in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that the poorest 20 percent of the world’s population will feel the heat extremes sooner than people in wealthier regions.
Countries around the Horn of Africa and West Africa would be most affected, the researchers found.

And a note from someone who knows:

Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist and professor of meteorology at Penn State University, was in Phoenix on Friday when temperatures hit 106 degrees.
He was speaking at a Democratic National Platform committee meeting, where he pointed to the extreme weather as “an example of just the sort of extreme heat that is on the increase due to human-caused climate change,” he told HuffPost.
“The likelihood of record heat has already doubled in the U.S. due to human-caused warming,” he said, “and that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.”

And just day one of summer…

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