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Summers could last for half the year by 2100 | Climate change

Our summers are already about 20% longer than they used to be, and if the climate crisis continues unabated then northern hemisphere summers could cover nearly half of the year by 2100, making them more than twice as long as they were in the 1950s. And unlike their counterparts of the 1950s, future summers will be more extreme, with heatwaves and wildfires more likely.

Researchers used historical climate data to measure how much the seasons have changed already. They defined summer as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25% for that time period and winter as the onset of the coldest 25% of temperatures. Their results, published in Geophysical Research Letters, show that the average northern hemisphere summer has grown from 78 to 95 days between 1952 and 2011, while winter has shrunk from 76 to 73 days. Spring and autumn have contracted too.

Using climate change models, they were able to show that even bigger changes are to come, with northern hemisphere summers lasting an average of 166 days by 2100, squeezing out all the other seasons and shrinking winter to just 31 days. The Mediterranean region and the Tibetan plateau are projected to experience the greatest changes, but far-reaching impacts on agriculture, human health and the environment will be felt everywhere.

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Comments (1)

  1. Yeah as completely discouraging as it is, lot of people do not think this a big deal because most people (living in the northern hemisphere in urban areas) have access to air conditioning and are far removed from the impacts of wildfires. Not to mention in that same culture, summers are thought of as a good thing more than anything is.
    I think these studies should definitely explain why these issues are a big deal (which they do) but bring the focus to impacts that are more relevant to the privileged folk that actually have influence over the system. Talk about how climate change may increase insurance fees or how people will have to spend more to maintain the same lifestyles. We need to appeal to rich/privileged people, not to the people that already care and know about the impact a forest fire has on the surrounding ecosystems.

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