Moments after stepping outside yesterday, I was drenched in sweat from head to toe and my entire body felt as though it was melting. Despite that, climate scientists are saying that moving forward, this will be the coldest summer in comparison to what is to come.
I’m not sure about you- but the thought of that is pretty treacherous.
Back in June, the sky-high temperatures in the Pacific Northwest killed around 600 people. Many hikers were found dead in California, due to temperatures reaching record highs, and on a global scale, July has been ranked as the hottest on record. Despite that, temperatures are only predicted to rise. What’s worse, is that scientists did not expect temperatures to be where they currently are, and instead, expected the effects of climate change to be around 30 years later.
Yet, here we are. “The climate that your children are going to experience is different than any climate that you have experienced,” says Paul Ullrich, a U.C Davis professor of regional and global climate modeling. “There was no possibility in your life span for the types of temperature that your children are going to be experiencing on average.”
With that being said, the temperatures expected could fluctuate year to year, and things like El Nino fronts could cause chillier years to be sparsed in between extremely hot ones.
“It’s really important not to set up these falsely simplistic expectations for the public,” explained Julien Emile-Geay, a climate scientist at the University of Southern California. “If we do put out the expectation that everything is gradually getting warmer, and then next year if it’s cooler, people will say, ‘Ha ha, climate change doesn’t exist.’”
And as the Scientific American so correctly points out, the rise in temperatures moving forward is (for the most part) in our hands. The more we can do now to try to curtail the changing climate, the better. Even if we got things 100% under control right now, temperatures would still be hotter now than they were in the past, because much damage has already been done.
However, that still doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth fighting it getting much worse.