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Six-Month Summers Could Be Common by the End of this Century, Scientists Say

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Scientists believe that winter will last less than two months by 2100 should climate change continue at its current pace.

What We Know:

  • A recent study reveals the change will mostly impact the Northern Hemisphere. Researchers are describing the phenomena as “an increased risk to humanity.” The study predicts that winter will last less than two months, with spring and fall seasons being just as short. Scientists worry that an extended summer in the northern region could encourage mosquitoes carrying viruses to expand, resulting in intense outbreaks. Climate change would also increase the frequency of heatwaves, storms, and wildfires.
  • Researchers observed the historical daily temperature data from 1952 to 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere. They found, on average, that summer’s length had increased from 78 to 95 days. The time of winter shrank from 76 days to 73 days, spring from 124 days to 115 days, and fall from 87 days to 82 days. The changes would have wide-reaching consequences on the world and would impact agriculture and animal behavior around the world.
  • The team defined the beginning of summer as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25% of temperatures between 1952 to 2011. In contrast, they also defined winter as the beginning of temperatures in the coldest 25% of temperatures from the same time period. Preventing change to our planet’s seasons involves drastically reducing carbon emissions as soon as possible. Greenhouse gases continue to be emitted into the atmosphere every day.
  • For example, climate change is responsible for carrying heat into both the ocean and atmosphere, which results in hurricanes. A rapid rise in heat is also the cause of other natural disasters worldwide, including record-breaking fires. The redwood forest fires in California were just one of the incredible wildfires that took place last year. Record-breaking wildfires also hit Australia multiple times in the fall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has noted that it is impossible to stop the global warming trend and that the only way to stabilize Earth’s temperatures would be to halt all emissions of heat-trapping gases completely.

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