Labor Day 2060: Endless Summer

Joe Romm

Who ever would’ve guessed that there would be a Labor Day card for global warming.  But that is what SomeEcards are for:

Labor Day

But “The Onion” of e-card companies makes a serious point:  In the not-too-distant future, people are going to be amazed that anybody ever thought Labor Day signified the unofficial end of summer (see Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 — and that isn’t the worst case, it’s business as usual!”).

In a terrific March presentation, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what staying on the business as usual emissions path (A1F1 or 1000 ppm) would mean (derived from the NOAA-led report):

 

US100f

Yes, absent a sharp and deep reduction in national and global emissions, by century’s end, Kansas (!) could well be above 100°F for three full months.  Labor Day will mean a return to those pleasant mid-to-upper 90s!

It truly will be an endless summer over much of Texas and Arizona and the Central Valley of California.

And it’ll be a hellish summer for much of the rest of the West by mid-century — see Climate change expected to sharply increase Western wildfire burn area — as much as 175% by the 2050:

The percentage increase in area burned by wildfires, from the present-day to the 2050s, as calculated by the model of Spracklen et al. [2009] for the May-October fire season. The model follows a scenario of moderately increasing emissions of greenhouse gas emissions and leads to average global warming of 1.6 degrees Celsius (3 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050. Warmer temperatures can dry out underbrush, leading to more serious conflagrations in the future climate.”

If you’re wondering what the worst-case might look like, then the UK Met Office has what you are looking for:  Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but “we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon.”

This is the “plausible worst case scenario” for around 2060 from the Met Office that occurs in 10% of model runs of high emissions with the carbon cycle feedbacks [temperature in degrees Celsius, multiple by 1.8 for Fahrenheit]:

Graphic of chnage in temperature

Now that is an endless global summer.

On the lighter side, this Someecard kills:

Happy holidays from someone using environmental friendliness as an excuse for being too cheap and lazy to send a real card.

 

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org  , a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund .  Joseph Romm is the editor of Climate Progress and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Check out more on Celsias:

Ohio Tea Party Survey

The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice

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  • Posted on Sept. 7, 2010. Listed in:

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