New England’s hottest July is a climate change wake-up call

After the hottest July on record for several New England cities, an expert breaks down what the heat means and what we can do to fight climate change.
The image shows a man using a small toy hand fan to cool himself on a hot day. (climate change concept)

This July was the hottest month ever recorded in several New England cities, including Boston.

The month turned out to be the hottest on record dating back to 1872, when weather records for the city began. Portland, Maine, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Hartford, Connecticut also set heat records. The average temperature in Boston was 78.5 degrees for the month with 12 days surpassing 90 degrees. Of the 10 warmest months in Boston history, six of them have occurred in the last decade.

And it hasn’t exactly cooled off at night. Writing for WBUR, meteorologist David Epstein explains why: “The nights have been incredibly warm. Part of the reason the nights have been so tropical is due to something called the urban heat island effect. This keeps cities like Boston warmer than the surrounding countryside.

“All the concrete and other building materials radiate the heat absorbed during the day and keep cities warmer at night. Both daytime and nighttime temperatures have been on the rise over the past several decades, but the nights have been outpacing the rate of change, partially because of all the building that’s going on in Boston.”

The image shows forecasted temperatures for July 31st in New England.
The forecasted temperatures for July 31. (Credit: National Weather Service Boston)

With all that Northeast heat (not to mention that June was the warmest June for the entire planet and Europe has seen record heat this summer, as well), and all the talk about climate change, global warming, and the Paris Climate Agreement, Cutler Cleveland, a professor of earth and environment and associate director at the Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, discusses the high temperatures and what we can do about it.

The post New England’s hottest July is a climate change wake-up call appeared first on Futurity.

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