GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists has highlighted another threat from climate change and continued warming of our planet. Parts of the United States could see double the number of 'extreme' hot days where heat indices surpass 100 degrees.
All of this comes as we just finished the warmest June, globally, on record. The data is even more dynamic when we look at Minnesota. In the Twin Cities we've actually seen a slight decrease in the number of 90 degree days in recent decades- likely as a result of increased cloud cover and water vapor from a warming climate. BUT, when you look at the number of warmer than normal summer days, that number is definitely increasing.
This summer has been an example of this pattern, where so far we're very warm. Stats show we're running 2 degrees above normal but we've seen fewer 90 degree days than normal. Heat and humidity has been very consistent.
We've also seen a definite increase in extreme rainfall events across Minnesota and the nation. The past 12 months have been the wettest 12 months nationwide on record. For every 1 degree Celsius of warming (1.8 deg F) that's a 7 percent increase in water vapor, creating heavier rainfalls.