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Climate and Environment

Don’t Be Surprised By A Hot, Hot LA Summer

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Usually, during April, temperatures in L.A. hover between 70 and 80 degrees.

On Wednesday, they reached as high as 90 in parts of the San Fernando Valley.

A few scorching days aren’t indicative of how hot our upcoming summer may be. But if we look at long-term climate trends, we can see that it’s been consistently, miserably hot during the summer for much of the past decade.

California’s had its hottest five years on record in the last six years. And both L.A. and California as a whole had above average temperatures the first quarter of 2020.

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If we look at the entirety of the globe? It’s been alarmingly hot, with the second-hottest first quarter on record.

“The fact that it’s so warm in early 2020 ... is both remarkable and it suggests that there’s a good chance that 2020 might set a record as the warmest year since our estimates began in the mid-1800s,” said Zeke Hausfather, Director of Climate and Energy at The Breakthrough Institute in Oakland.

Long-term warming trends are a direct result of humans pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

If you’re hoping that a downward trend in emissions during coronavirus quarantine might help, don’t get too excited.

Greenhouse gas emissions can last for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in the atmosphere, so nothing short of widespread sustained reductions will have any sort of sizable impact on our bleak-looking climate future.