According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US is facing the hottest weather ever this summer. Due to this, June was recorded as the hottest month in U.S. history, with heat waves across both the West and East Coast.
Climate change is resulting in warming temperatures overall, thus increasing the baseline temperatures for heat waves. Unsurprisingly, these temperatures are much higher than what they were decades ago. Furthermore, the U.S. has experienced eight natural disasters this year, with damages amounting to over $1 billion.
The states of California, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah and Massachusetts experienced their hottest June on record. California experienced temperatures of 6.8 degrees above their average.
Cities experienced staggering temperatures during their heat waves. Between June 25-30, the Pacific Northwest heat wave took place where temperatures rose to up to 40 degrees above average. Portland experienced temperatures climbing to 116 degrees and Seattle had three days straight of temperatures above 100 degrees.
The Northeast also endured a heat wave at the same time as the Pacific Northwest. Boston hit above 100 degrees, which is so rare that it was the first time reaching such a level in a decade. Cities such as New Jersey, New York City and Newark also experienced temperatures within the mid-to-upper 90s.
These heatwaves have resulted in expensive droughts, particularly across the Western region. In fact, almost 90% of the entire Western region is facing drought. This is a 40 per cent increase from just this time last year.
These rapid rising temperatures are a result of global climate change, with the direct cause so apparent that scientists can now predict the likelihood of heatwaves related to climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing every year and are impacting the climate at an exponential rate. Due to this, extreme heatwaves are likely to become increasingly common.
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