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Summer weather extremes more persistent in warming world, says study

Thursday, August 22nd 2019, 2:35 pm - What's Up In Climate Change? A new study points to more persistent summer extremes, and a new wind farm will double Saskatchewan's wind power.

We are already seeing summer extremes unlike ever before due to climate change, with spiking temperatures, as well as both extreme dry weather and extreme wet weather events. A new study is showing that these extremes are likely to cluster together as the world continues to warm, causing more persistent episodes of extreme summer weather.

"Our study found that if the world warms to 2°C above preindustrial levels, we could see a significant shift in summer weather conditions from the patterns we know today," study lead author Peter Pfleiderer, from Climate Analytics and Humboldt University, said in a press release on Monday. "Extreme weather would become more persistent - hot and dry periods, as well as consecutive days of heavy rain would all get longer."

According to Climate Analytics, "if the world warms to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the chance of warm periods lasting longer than two weeks increases by four per cent, compared with today’s climate. This change would be more pronounced in eastern North America, central Europe and northern Asia.

Periods of hot and dry conditions lasting longer than two weeks would become 10 per cent more likely in central North America.

Periods of heavy rain would increase the most – 26 per cent higher across the entire northern temperate zone compared to today."

The reason for this increase in persistent extreme weather - a slowdown in the jet stream and storm tracks during the summer months.

"The climate models show a systematic weakening of the large-scale summer atmospheric circulation, including the Jetstream and storm tracks, as the planet warms," study author Dim Coumou, from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said in the press release. "The increase in weather persistence can be linked to a weakening of this circulation. As it slows down, hot and dry conditions can build up over the continents but also rain-bringing cyclones can persist longer in one place."


The most important solution for halting climate change is to switch away from the use of fossil fuels for our power, to the use of green energy technology, such as solar power and wind power.

Canada has an enormous potential when it comes to wind power, especially in the Prairies, and Saskatchewan is taking advantage of this to nearly double their wind power production.

According to CBC News: "Scheduled to be up and running in 2021, the $325-million Golden South Wind Energy Facility is expected to produce 200 megawatts of wind energy. That will almost double the amount of wind energy the province produces."

This new 50-turbine wind farm, located near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, will provide power to around 90,000 homes while eliminating half a megaton of carbon from the province's power generation.

Sources: Climate Analytics | CBC News


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