Climate Change to Make Los Angeles 4-5°F Hotter Over Next 30 Years

Irene/CC BY-ND 2.0

Mother Jones points out a new study trying to determine how much the greater Los Angeles area will warm because of climate change. The results are pretty dramatic.

Under business-as-usual climate scenarios the region warms on average 4.6°F by 2041. There are some notable differences however, based on geography.

Along the ocean temperatures will increase 3.5-4°F, mountains and deserts warm 4.5-5.5°F, and dense urban areas warm 4-4.5°F. More warming is expected to occur in summer and fall than in spring and winter.

What that means for days above 95°F also varies by locality.

Coastal areas like Santa Monica, Venice and San Pedro, which now rarely top 95°F because of the cooling influence of the ocean may see one day a year topping that. In Downtown LA, perhaps 4.6 days above 95°F, an increase of about four days each year. In Pasadena, hot days go from 3 days to 9.5 days. The greatest increase (and this goes beyond Los Angeles really) is in Lancaster, where days topping 95°F increase from 20 days today to about 55 days. Palm Springs (even further afield), which now sees 75 days above 95°F, increases to 119 days each year—a third of the year with days topping 95°F.

Here's the kicker in all this, even under aggressive carbon mitigation scenarios warming is just 30% less than this. A worthwhile target to shoot for, but really a sign of how much change human activity has already caused or has committed to happening.

Tags: California | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Los Angeles

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