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Climate Central: Arizona Summers Will Get Much Hotter By 2100

PHOTO: Arizonans probably don't want summers to get 10 degrees hotter, but that's what will happen if climate change isn't dealt with in a meaningful way, according to the nonprofit environmental, information organization Climate Central. Photo courtesy of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
PHOTO: Arizonans probably don't want summers to get 10 degrees hotter, but that's what will happen if climate change isn't dealt with in a meaningful way, according to the nonprofit environmental, information organization Climate Central. Photo courtesy of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
July 14, 2014

PHOENIX – The nonprofit environmental, information organization Climate Central is projecting that Arizona's already extreme summer temperatures are going go get quite a bit hotter by the turn of the century, courtesy of climate change.

Bernadette Woods Placky, a meteorologist with Climate Central, says her organization considers the level of current greenhouse gas emissions to project future temperatures.

"The average high summer temperature in Phoenix, Arizona, today is 104 degrees,” she points out. “By 2100, that temperature is predicted to rise to 114 degrees."

Woods Placky says climate change has been causing temperatures to increase in the U.S. since the 1970s.

She adds that research from Climate Central is projecting that summer temperatures will continue to rise throughout the U.S.

She says some places will be hotter than others, with temperatures expected to increase from six to 12 degrees.

Woods Placky adds that reducing air pollution will help to slow climate change, but some of the damage is already done.

"Even if we were to cut by 50 percent,” she says. “Even if we were to cut wholly, today, which obviously would not happen, we're still already committing a few degrees to our future summers."

Woods Placky says areas in the northern U.S. will warm more than places like Arizona.

She says Minneapolis' high summer temperature of 81 degrees today is projected to reach 93 degrees by 2100.

Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ