By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Here’s a little experiment: think about the hottest summer day you’ve ever experienced in your life. Okay, now pretend feeling that every day during the winter. It’s a pretty disgusting thought, huh? Unfortunately, there’ll be no need to pretend, because a ground-breaking study from the University of Hawaii at Manoa say it’ll be a reality in around 30 years.
This isn’t the first time researchers have predicted insanely high temperatures, though. Environmentalists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicted that extremely hot summers will occur 7 times more frequently by the year 2040.
That’s saying a lot, too, because this last July was one of the hottest recorded in the history of weather tracking. However, this is the first time that scientists have broken down the numbers by region instead of a global average.
“We wanted to give people a really relatable way to understand climate,” said Abby G. Frazier, a graduate student in geography. By using super sophisticated and really expensive weather models from around the planet, the researchers divided the Earth into many sections and calculated how hot each one would get and when those regions should expect the extreme temperatures.
For example, New York City and Washington are predicted to reach extreme heat levels by the year 2047! That may sound far away, but it’s only 30 years from now! Meanwhile, Beijing – which has some of the worst air on Earth – will be burning up by 2046. Wow, most of you will be starting families by that time. However, it looks like you and your kids won’t be the only ones suffering in sweat.
According to the research team, several plants and animals will either be forced to find a cooler place to live, or risk extinction! Not many organisms are used to such drastic environmental fluctuations (flip-flopping back and forth) as humans are, so they’ll definitely suffer. What poor critters! Is there any way to stop all of this?
Yes… and no. If humans stop spewing out large amounts of greenhouse gases – which include carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane – into the atmosphere, there’s a possibility that hot summers can be delayed by a couple of decades. However, the Earth’s fate is pretty inevitable (can’t be avoided).
In the words of lead researcher Camilo Mora, “I am certain there will be massive biological and social consequences,” Dr. Mora said. “The specifics, I cannot tell you.”