James Hansen and colleagues use the bell curve to how the growing frequency of extreme summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, compared to the 1951 to 1980 base period. Credit: NASA
Featured by NASA, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program
James Hansen and colleagues use the bell curve to how the growing frequency of extreme summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, compared to the 1951 to 1980 base period.
â€œA new statistical analysis by NASA scientists has found that Earth's land areas have become much more likely to experience an extreme summer heat wave than they were in the middle of the 20th century. The statistics show that the recent bouts of extremely warm summers, including the intense heat wave afflicting the U.S. Midwest this year, very likely are the consequence of global warming, according to lead author James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.â€
In a statement released in response to the paper, Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said:
â€œWhile it remains true that no single, extreme weather event can be proven to have been caused by climate change, this report underscores what climate scientists have been saying for decadesâ€”climate change makes high temperatures more likely. This work, which finds that extremely hot summers are over 10 times more common than they used to be, reinforces many other lines of evidence showing that climate change is occurring and that it is harmful.â€ Read more