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Greater L.A. Heating Up, Climate Experts Predict
Date:6/28/2012

THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- People living in and around Los Angeles should brace for more frequent heat waves by the middle of the century, according to a new regional climate study.

Experts from the University of California, Los Angeles, predict climate change will cause parts of Southern California to heat up by an annual average of 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Extremely hot days in downtown L.A. will triple in number, and sweltering days in the valleys and mountains will quadruple, the study found.

"The changes our region will face are significant, and we will have to adapt," study leader Alex Hall, an associate professor in UCLA's department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, said in a UCLA news release. Hall is also a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, which provide assessments for the United Nations.

"Every season of the year in every part of the county will be warmer," Hall added. "This study lays a foundation for the region to confront climate change. Now that we have real numbers, we can talk about adaptation."

To make their predictions, the researchers looked at 22 global climate models, each with their own assumptions about how to predict climate change or future greenhouse gas emissions. Once the models were recalculated at the local level, the investigators analyzed and integrated the results to come up with the forecast for the greater Los Angeles region.

The data they analyzed covered Los Angeles and the surrounding areas 30 to 60 miles outside the city, including Palm Springs, Bakersfield and Santa Barbara. A grid was placed on this region, dividing it into squares 1.2 miles across to provide separate temperature predictions for every square.

In looking ahead to 2041 to 2060, the UCLA climate experts predicted the following average annual temperature changes:

  • Coastal areas will warm an average of 3 to 4 degrees.
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