Environment

America Shattered a 121-Year-Long Weather Record

September 10th 2016

By:
Thor Benson

If you're tempted to say this summer is the sweatiest you've ever lived through, you wouldn't be wrong. The nights this summer were the hottest they've been since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started keeping track in 1895, according to USA Today.

How hot are we talking?

The average low temperature for summer evenings was just above 60 degrees, and humidity was significantly higher than usual, climate scientist Jake Crouch of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information told USA Today. He explained that winds coming from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean made the humidity last and temperatures can't drop if the air is too moist.

Several states shattered personal records, too.

Eight states had their warmest August on record, including New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. It was the warmest summer on record for California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Cities like New Orleans, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Detroit experienced the warmest summers in their history.

climate change

These summer highs aren't just outlying numbers.

Each year for the past several years, we continue to have the hottest year on record. Climate change causes temperatures to rise, and this increase in heat can cause an uptick in the number of people dying from health problems like heat stroke.

If we don't make an effort to address climate change, uncomfortably hot summers could become a permanent fixture.