When I say, “how about that heat wave,” perhaps you think of the western United States, where temperatures last week soared above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), smashing dozens of historical heat records from Oregon to Arizona.
Or maybe you think of India — where intense heat has scorched the country for more than a month, killing at least 36 people and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate their villages — or perhaps Kuwait, where local media recently reported high temperatures of 145 F (63 C), potentially the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.
The point is, the Northern Hemisphere is really, really hot right now and summer has barely begun. If it seems like these record heat waves are happening more often, that’s because they are — and, according to a new study published today (June 17) in the journal Nature Climate Change, this scorching trend will continue for most of the globe every single year as long as no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In the new study, a team of Australian meteorologists analyzed the predictions in 22 separate climate reports to calculate one range of überpredictions about our planet’s hot, hot future. The scientists found that, under current levels of greenhouse gas emissions, high monthly temperature records will be set in approximately 58% of the world (including 67% of the poorest nations) every single year until 2100. Nearly 10% of the world will also have at least one monthly temperature record “smashed” by more than 1.8 F (1 C) every year.