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L.A.'s Future Is Going To Have More Days Of 'Extreme Heat,' Says Study

Heat wave (Photo by Gamma Infinity via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
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Sure, Monday's heat was really terrible. But what's even more terrible is how days of "extreme heat," like Monday, are probably going to become commonplace in the Los Angeles area into the 21st century. A recent study, conducted by the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions, modeled just how hot the Los Angeles area could get depending on various climate change scenarios, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The study defines days of "extreme heat" as those with high temperatures exceeding 95 degrees. For now, they're relatively rare in most parts of the Southland. The study determined that during the 1980s and 1990s, downtown Los Angeles averaged just six days of temperatures over 95 degrees. That number, however, was modeled to increase dramatically, and unmitigated climate change could draw that number up to 22 by 2050, and 54(!) by 2100.

As you might expect, inland areas and valleys are hotter. For example, parts of the often-baking San Fernando Valley frequented by roughly 50 days of extreme heat during the final two decades of the 20th Century, would see up to 150(!!) days of 95+ temperatures by 2100. The San Gabriel Valley has similar projections, bumping up from 32 "extreme heat" days during the 1980s and 1990s, to a 117.

As if that isn't harrowing enough, the study also warns that L.A. could lose the little vestiges of "winter" that we have now. The weather models predicted that the Decembers and Januarys of the future, will feel more like the Aprils of the past.

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There is some hope, though. The dire predictions listed above will only come true in the event of unmitigated climate change. In the event humans band together and somehow drastically reduce our collective global carbon emissions, we should only see a modest increase in "extreme heat."

Assuming we do, and hold ourselves to the standards set at Paris Climate Accord last year, downtown L.A. would see only 15 "extreme" heat days instead of 54.

Still balmy, though.

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