As we all anticipate summer days spending time outside enjoying the warm weather and sunshine, the heat in the west is providing just that. Heatwaves in the western United States broke all-time records in multiple states with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This weather marked another climate extreme for residents who already are suffering devastating drought.
The middle of June 2021, a dome of hot air grew over the west causing temperatures to skyrocket and temperatures soared. Phoenix Arizona had temperatures over 115 degrees for six consecutive days. Extreme high temperatures cause air quality concerns, higher temperatures can affect human health by making our air less healthy to breathe. The ozone changes causing harmful pollutants to live in the air increasing longer pollen seasons which can increase allergies. When extreme temperatures soar for days, the land absorbs all the moisture causing the temperature to appear even hotter. Less moisture in the soil means less solar energy being used to evaporate water, Instead, that energy heats the ground and the air. Extreme weather fueled by climate change reveals cracks in society’s move away from fossil fuel. Coal and gas fired power plants are not being replaced fast enough to keep the pace with the unstable climate, and the regions existing power infrastructure is become vulnerable to wildfires, which threatens transmission lines and draught.
Heatwaves across the contiguous United States have occurred more often and lasted longer since the 1960s. The climate change has had drastic increases in the area experiencing extreme high temperatures in the summer over the last twenty years, with little relief in the future. These climate changes will become more common by the end of the century.
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