Why This Summer Is So Hot—And Why the Future Will Be So Much Hotter
Meteorologists say heat waves like this one hit the northern hemisphere every year—even if they do not typically cover such a broad area—but in the coming decades Americans should expect stronger and more frequent hot spells.
“There’s a very large bubble that’s working its way across the nation,” said Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central. “The atmosphere travels in waves—waves that are up and waves that are down. Up waves are allowing a lot of hot air to come up through the equator.”
The coming warm spell is just a taste of future summers when heat waves will be stronger and more frequent. Recent research has shown that average summer temperatures post-2050 will regularly top today’s records, unless there are efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. “Extremely hot summers always pose a challenge to society,” said Flavio Lehner, a researcher at National Center for Atmospheric Research, following the release of a study on summer heat. “Such summers are a true test of our adaptability to rising temperatures"