, , ,

Climate Change Has Made This Extreme Heat Four Times More Likely

Everyone has noticed. Extreme heat has become more frequent and more widespread than in the past. Is it just a temporary natural fluke that will be corrected when we return to the mean temperatures experienced in the last fifty years? Absolutely not. The reason is climate change.

Climate Central is an independent group of scientists and communicators who research and report the facts about the changing climate and how it affects people’s lives. Climate Central has devised a Climate Shift Index (CSI) that measures how much more, if any, human-caused climate change makes any level of heat more likely. It is a ratio of how common a temperature is in today’s altered climate versus how common it would be in a climate without human-caused climate change.

In the period June 17 to 24, 2024 hundreds of records could be tied or broken as a massive heat dome sits over West Virginia and other parts of the East. Multiple all-time June high temperature records could fall as the heat rises to levels normally seen only on the hottest July days. In West Virginia a heat advisory is in effect until Friday, June 21 with the heat index predicted to be 103 for almost all the state.

This level of heat is rated extreme by Climate Central. These temperatures are rated at 4 on the CSI scale, meaning they are four times more likely to happen because of climate change than in the climate before humans began pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The West Virginia Division of Emergency Management has issued a plea for citizens to practice heat safety. Stay hydrated, keep cool, limit outdoor activities, and recognize heat-related illnesses.