Before you do anything else, you might want to look at an amazing chart that shows you 2,000 years of Earth’s climate…

Heat

HEAT

New research shows that the amount of heat the planet traps has roughly doubled since 2005, contributing to more rapidly warming oceans, air and land. Oceans absorb most of that heat, about 90 percent. That extra heat, especially in the oceans, will mean more intense hurricanes and marine heat waves.

Climate change is making  heat waves more intensemore frequent, longer lasting, and more dangerous resulting in record breaking extremes: September 2020 was the world’s hottest month ever recorded, and in June 2021, Portland, Oregon had a day with 108 degrees, which broke all heat records. The summer of 2021 is now the warmest summer on record in the U.S., barely eclipsing the extreme heat of 1936’s Dust Bowl.

Extreme heat contributes to wildfire conditions, exacerbates drought, and endangers health.

NRDC has a heat map that is searchable by address. C2ES’ Resilience Strategies for Extreme Heat provide solutions for adaptation that be implemented on both an individual and community level.

And, if you are curious about how the temperatures in your hometown have risen since you were born and how much hotter they are predicted to become, take a look at this  New York Times Climate piece.

CREDIT: Propublica

CURRENT NEWS

‘Alarming’ Ocean Temperatures Suggest This Hurricane Season Will Be a Daunting One

By Judson Jones 04/09/24
A key area of the Atlantic Ocean where hurricanes form is already abnormally warm, much warmer than an ideal swimming pool temperature of about 80 degrees and on the cusp of feeling more like warm…
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‘Humbling, and a bit worrying’: Scientists fail to fully explain record global heat

By Hayley Smith 03/27/24
Deadly heat in the Southwest. Hot-tub temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean. Sweltering conditions in Europe, Asia and South America. That 2023 was Earth’s hottest year on record was in some ways no surprise. For decades,…
Read more

See one cherry tree’s rush to an early bloom, day by day

By Niko Kommenda and Harry Stevens 03/22/24
Two weeks ago, we started photographing the cherry trees whose spectacular white blooms mark the start of spring in the nation’s capital. We thought we had plenty of time to capture the buds gradually unfold.…
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Scientist: 2023 heat may put world in “uncharted territory”

By Andrew Freedman 03/21/24
The head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies is sounding an alarm in the scientific community — albeit a nuanced one — over how unexpectedly significant 2023's warming was. Why it matters: Scientists don't…
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‘Red alert’: last year was hottest on record by clear margin, says UN report

By Ajit Niranjan 03/19/24
The world has never been closer to breaching the 1.5C (2.7F) global heating limit, even if only temporarily, the United Nations’ weather agency has warned. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed on Tuesday that 2023…
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Climate models can’t explain 2023’s huge heat anomaly — we could be in uncharted territory

By Gavin Schmidt 03/19/24
When I took over as the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, I inherited a project that tracks temperature changes since 1880. Using this trove of data, I’ve made climate predictions at the…
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Global hot streak continues: February was Earth’s warmest on record

By Hayley Smith 03/07/24
The planet has experienced its ninth consecutive month of record-breaking warmth, with a simmering February rounding out the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest meteorological winter on record, international climate officials announced this week. The global surface temperature…
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Warm Winter Days Boosted by Climate Change in U.S. Cities

03/07/24
Carbon pollution drove abnormal warmth this winter. New Climate Central analysis shows which U.S. cities, states, and regions felt the strongest influence of climate change on daily average temperatures between December 2023 and February 2024.
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Earth posts warmest February and ninth straight record-setting month

By Dan Stillman 03/06/24
The Earth just observed its warmest February, setting a monthly record for the ninth time in a row, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service announced Wednesday.
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Winter is warming almost everywhere. See how it’s changed in your town.

Analysis by Harry Stevens Climate Lab columnist 03/01/24
As another winter nears its close, we bid farewell to the season of merriment, good cheer and inane arguments about global warming. If you think global warming is nonsense, winter offers many cold things to…
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The Heat Continues

By David Houle 02/22/24
2023 was the hottest year in the last 120,000 years, give or take a millennium. In a column here a month ago, I wrote about the four metrics that humanity needed to look at in…
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These farmworkers created America’s strongest workplace heat rules

By Nicolás Rivero and Eva Marie Uzcategui 02/17/24
The sweet, earthy scent of tomatoes hangs in the air as a crew of 44 workers speeds through rows of vines. They fill 32-pound buckets with fruit, then deliver them to co-workers waiting on the…
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KEY RESOURCES

Climate Change and Extreme Heat

09/25/23
The United States experienced a series of record-breaking heat waves during the summer of 2023. The heat waves brought extreme temperatures to various U.S. regions, including Puerto Rico, the southern Plains, and the Northeast and…

U.S. saw its 9th-warmest August on record

09/11/23
A warm August wrapped up a sweltering Summer 2023 across the U.S., according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The Heat Tracker

07/17/23
Extreme heat is the deadliest weather phenomenon in the United States. It's also one of the easiest to underestimate: We feel it on our skin, or perhaps see it shimmering in the air around us,…

The Climate Dice are Loaded. Now, a New Frontier?

07/13/23
Andy Revkin recently asked whether the “climate dice” have become more “loaded” in the last 15 years. Climate dice were defined1 in 1988, after we realized that the next cool summer may cause the public…

Earth is at its hottest in thousands of years. Here’s how we know.

07/08/23
Observations from both satellites and the Earth’s surface are indisputable — the planet has warmed rapidly over the past 44 years. As far back as 1850, data from weather stations all over the globe make…

How to Stay Cool and Safe in a Heat Wave

06/30/23
Extreme heat is becoming increasingly common across the globe, with longer, more frequent heat waves. These rising temperatures can put many at risk for heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Read on for…

Maps show where extreme heat shattered 7,000 records this summer

09/13/22
It was the summer that wouldn’t quit. From early June to straight past Labor Day, waves upon waves of heat scorched and baked the country, smashing thousands of temperature records along the way.

An “Extreme Heat Belt” will soon emerge in the U.S., study warns

08/15/22
A new study reveals the emergence of an "extreme heat belt" from Texas to Illinois, where the heat index could reach 125°F at least one day a year by 2053.

More dangerous heat waves are on the way: See the impact by Zip code.

08/15/22
It was the middle of July and already this summer had become a top contender for the hottest in Texas’s recorded history. In San Antonio, which by July would normally experience about three days of…

NOAA and communities to map heat inequities in 14 U.S. cities and counties

04/26/22
"Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event and has the greatest impact on our nation's most vulnerable communities," said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. "Fortunately, our talented and dedicated researchers and…

It’s official: July was Earth’s hottest month on record

08/13/21
“In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest…

The Climate Crisis

08/11/21
We all live in two worlds: a physical one and a social one. The new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was released on Monday, is ostensibly about the physical world. It…

Assessing the U.S. Climate in June 2021

07/21/21
The June contiguous U.S. temperature was 72.6°F, 4.2°F above the 20th-century average, ranking warmest in the 127-year record and surpassing the previous record for June set in 2016 by 0.9°F. The year-to-date average temperature for…

Watching the Land Temperature Bell Curve Heat Up (1950-2020)

06/04/21
This visualization shows that as land temperatures have increased since 1950, hotter days have become more common and colder days have become less common.

Global risk of deadly heat

10/01/20
Climate change can increase the risk of conditions that exceed human thermoregulatory capacity.

Global death rate from rising temperatures projected to surpass the current death rate of all infectious diseases combined

08/03/20
How much is temperature to blame when hospital visits surge during heat waves and cold spells? What role might adaptations like indoor heating and cooling systems play in blunting those effects? And, at what cost?…

Newly released satellite data reveals the patterns of record warmth in 2019

01/31/20
Last year was the second-warmest on record for the globe, but in many places, such as Australia and Alaska, temperatures were unprecedented in modern record-keeping. This is known from data gathered by thermometers at the…

2,000 years of Earth’s climate in one simple chart – and the copycat that isn’t what it seems

01/30/20
What were global temperatures the year Jesus was born, during the 12th century when Genghis Khan ruled the Mongol Empire, and in 1503 when Leonardo da Vinci started painting the Mona Lisa — and how…

Climate Impact Map

11/05/19
The Climate Impact Lab is a unique collaboration of 30 climate scientists, economists, computational experts, researchers, analysts, and students from some of the nation’s leading research institutions.

Extreme climate change has arrived in America

08/13/19
Before climate change thawed the winters of New Jersey, this lake hosted boisterous wintertime carnivals. As many as 15,000 skaters took part, and automobile owners would drive onto the thick ice. Thousands watched as local…

Heat Safety Tips and Resources

09/11/19
This website is designed to inform you about the health dangers of heat, prepare you for excessive heat events, and tell you what to do during an excessive heat wave.

MORE NEWS

February on course to break unprecedented number of heat records

By Jonathan Watts   02/17/24  
Rapid ocean warming and unusually hot winter days recorded as human-made global heating combines with El NiñoFebruary is on course to break a record number of heat records, meteorologists say, as human-made global heating and…
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2024 Begins With More Record Heat Worldwide

By Raymond Zhong and Elena Shao   02/07/24  
The exceptional warmth that first enveloped the planet last summer is continuing strong into 2024: Last month clocked in as the hottest January ever measured, the European Union climate monitor announced on Thursday.
Read more

Watch the Earth breathe for one year

Analysis by Harry Stevens   02/01/24  
I like to think the French physicist Joseph Fourier appreciated the irony that he, of all people, was the one who discovered the greenhouse effect. Here was a man who kept his Paris apartment tropically…
Read more

Washington soars to 80 degrees, its highest January temperature on record

By Ian Livingston   01/26/24  
Welcome to June in January and record-shattering winter warmth in Washington. Temperatures surged about 35 degrees above normal Friday, as highs climbed well into the 70s to near 80 across the region, breaking records that…
Read more

Scientists unnerved by record shattering 2023 temperatures

By Andrew Freedman   01/12/24  
Climate scientists lack an explanation for why 2023 was the world's hottest year by such a large margin, calling the records revealed Friday "astonishing." Why it matters: Without an adequate explanation for 2023's record global…
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Scientists Are Already Bracing for Record-Breaking Heat in 2024

By Zahra Hirji, Olivia Rudgard, and Brian Kahn   01/09/24  
This year will be hot. Very hot. So hot that some experts are already predicting it may beat 2023 as the hottest year in recorded history. Climate change is, of course, primarily responsible. Burning fossil…
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Global heating will pass 1.5C threshold this year, top ex-Nasa scientist says

By Oliver Milman   01/08/24  
The internationally agreed threshold to prevent the Earth from spiraling into a new superheated era will be “passed for all practical purposes” during 2024, the man known as the godfather of climate science has warned.…
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Can you guess how crazy last year’s weather was? Try this game.

Analysis by Harry Stevens   01/03/24  
The pollsters here at The Washington Post recently asked 1,404 random Americans: “Do you think human activity is or is not causing changes to the world’s climate, including an increase in average temperature?” Would you…
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More Than Words: 10 Charts That Defined 2023

By Steve Rattner   12/28/23  
Some years are defined by a single event or person — a pandemic, a recession, an insurrection — while others are buffeted by a series of disparate forces. Such was 2023. The economy and inflation…
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Earth passed a feared global warming milestone Friday, at least briefly

By Scott Dance   11/19/23  
The planet marked an ominous milestone Friday: The first day global warmth crossed a threshold, if only briefly, that climate scientists have warned could have calamitous consequences. Preliminary data show global temperatures averaged more than…
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You’ve just lived through Earth’s hottest 12 months on record

By Scott Dance   11/09/23  
The Earth just endured its hottest 12 months in the modern era, and probably the hottest in 125,000 years, according to an analysis published Thursday.
Read more

Arizona’s extreme heat threatens ‘spectacular migrations’ of butterflies

By Kevinjonah Paguio   10/15/23  
This time of year, butterflies are in backyards and parks, but it may look different this season. This year’s extreme heat is expected to affect all parts of the ecosystem, including butterflies and their migration.
Read more

Global warning: 2023 will be the hottest year on record

By Andrew Freedman   10/13/23  
Sweltering temperatures baking the globe this year, both on land and sea, have amplified the odds of the Earth setting an inauspicious record.
Read more

I Study Climate Change. The Data Is Telling Us Something New.

By Zeke Hausfather   10/13/23  
Staggering. Unnerving. Mind-boggling. Absolutely gobsmackingly bananas. As global temperatures shattered records and reached dangerous new highs over and over the past few months, my climate scientist colleagues and I have just about run out of…
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Scientists “uneasy” about Earth’s sped-up warming

By Andrew Freedman   10/12/23  
The globe's pronounced and unexpected temperature spike during the past few months is provoking unease among some of the most level-headed climate scientists. The big picture: September was the most unusually warm month in recorded…
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Heat Waves in the Ground Are Getting More Extreme—and Perilous

By Matt Simon   10/09/23  
UNLESS YOU’RE RUNNING around barefoot, you experience heat waves through air temperature. For the most part, that’s how scientists track them too. “Heat extremes have been always studied based on air temperature, in part because…
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Why Summers May Never Be the Same

By Julie Bosman   10/05/23  
It felt like the opening minutes of a disaster movie. This summer, Trevor O’Donnell, 64, had been reading the cascade of news about extreme weather: wildfire smoke covering the country, deadly flooding in unexpected places,…
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September shattered global heat record — and by a record margin

By Scott Dance   10/03/23  
Early analyses show global warmth surged far above previous records in September — even further than what scientists said seemed like astonishing increases in July and August. The planet’s average temperature shattered the previous September…
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Central states seeing second summer with record-setting highs in 90s

By Matthew Cappucci   10/02/23  
It’s feeling like August, the sequel, over parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest, where an enduring reprieve from summertime heat has yet to arrive. Temperatures some 25 degrees or more above average have been…
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Scientists found the most intense heat wave ever recorded — in Antarctica

By Kasha Patel   09/24/23  
In March 2022, temperatures near the eastern coast of Antarctica spiked at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) above normal — making it the most intense recorded heat wave to occur anywhere on Earth,…
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A saltwater wedge climbing the Mississippi River threatens drinking water

By Brady Dennis   09/22/23  
For six generations, Ricky Becnel’s family has run the massive tree nursery on the banks of the Mississippi River near Belle Chasse, La. Its 20 acres and half a million trees, most of them citrus,…
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The Inequality Of Heat

By Annie Gowen and Others   09/22/23  
Their city of Kolkata was in the midst of a blistering heat wave, with temperatures rising to 105 degrees, making life in the narrow lanes and in their tiny one-room homes nearly unbearable. It was…
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Earth’s Hottest August on Record Followed a Record-Breaking June and July

By Delger Erdenesanaa   09/21/23  
Temperature records continue to topple. Last month was the planet’s warmest August in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 174-year record, agency officials said on Thursday. The global surface temperature for the month was 2.25…
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Excessive Heat and Rainfall Combos Will Be Practically Everywhere If Emissions Keep Rising, Study Says

By Angely Mercado   09/15/23  
The climate crisis is going to expose more of the world to both hotter weather and heavy rainfall. This could create dangerous flood conditions new research has found. A study recently published in Earth’s Future…
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What this month’s deadly floods tell us about our global climate future

By Scott Dance, Marina Dias and Theodora Yu   09/14/23  
When heavy rain hit southern Brazil last week, Moisés Alexandre Heck de Carvalho braced for shin-deep floodwaters, like the country saw a 2020 deluge. Instead, the waters rose so high that the 43-year-old grabbed his…
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Hot, hotter, hottest: NOAA, NASA say Earth endured the most sizzling summer on record in 2023

By Doyle Rice   09/14/23  
The Earth sweltered to its hottest June-August on record this year, federal scientists from both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. It was the warmest summer in the Northern Hemisphere and…
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Hot Summer Days Linked to Climate Change in U.S. Cities

09/13/23  
Summer 2023 was the planet’s hottest on record. New Climate Central analysis shows which U.S. cities, states, and regions felt the strongest influence of climate change on summer heat. In the U.S., 326 million people—97%…
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Summer 2023 broke dozens of all-time monthly heat records

By Bob Henson   09/11/23  
Dozens of places from Arizona to Florida had their hottest months on record during one of the most scorching stretches in U.S. history, a disaster cataloged in the national climate summary for summer 2023 released…
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As School Started in the US, So Did the School Closures for Heat

By Eric Roston   09/09/23  
Susan Eckert teaches advanced placement biology at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey. Her room sits on the second floor, right next to the lower level's heat-absorbing black tar roof. On hot days, Eckert…
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Voters want stronger heat standards

By Hayley Smith   09/08/23  
As California endures the increasing likelihood of record heat waves driven by climate change, voters are questioning government’s response to sweltering conditions and say they would welcome stronger policies to help minimize heat’s impact.
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Earth had hottest three-month period on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and much extreme weather

09/06/23  
Earth just had its hottest three months on record, according to the European Union-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) implemented by ECMWF. Global sea surface temperatures are at unprecedented highs for the third consecutive month…
Read more

America Could Be in for a Rough Fall

By Lois Parshley   09/06/23  
On Labor Day, you could drive from Minnesota’s border with Canada all the way to where Louisiana hits the Gulf of Mexico and not encounter a high under 90 degrees. The heat hasn’t broken: Today,…
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Summer of record heat deals costly damage to Texas water systems

By Dylan Baddour   09/06/23  
The hottest summer on record for many Texas cities has brought millions of dollars in damage to municipal plumbing and the loss of huge volumes of water during a severe drought.
Read more

Pakistan bears the brunt of global extreme heat illness and mortality

By Annie Gowen, Niko Kommenda and Saiyna Bashir   09/05/23  
Climate-fueled disease — tied to heat, pathogens and toxins — is an emerging, lethal threat that countries are ill-prepared to confront. The Post visited ground zero for this new era, Pakistan, to see what the…
Read more

World likely has hottest summer on record

By Andrew Freedman   09/05/23  
The first of many batches of temperature data is in for August — and not only did the globe have its hottest such month on record, but temperature anomalies secured meteorological summer's place in the…
Read more

More Than 111 Million People in the U.S. Face Extreme Heat

By Chris Cameron   08/26/23  
More than 57 million people in the American South and Southwest were under an excessive heat warning on Saturday afternoon — the most severe category for heat conditions — as temperatures across the Gulf Coast…
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Simultaneous record heat hits multiple continents

By Andrew Freedman   08/25/23  
A simultaneous spate of extreme heat events have broken longstanding, all-time records on multiple continents this week. Why it matters: Extreme heat events are the clearest manifestation of climate change in weather that people and…
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As Chicago broils, neighbors find ways to keep each other cool

By Siri Chilukuri   08/24/23  
A massive heat dome covered the central part of the United States on Thursday, stretching from Omaha, Nebraska, down to New Orleans, putting 143 million people in 19 states under heat alerts.
Read more

Risk of heat-related deaths has ‘increased rapidly’ over past 20 years

By Ayesha Tandon   08/24/23  
Spikes in temperature-related deaths during extreme summer heatwaves “will eventually become commonplace” if societies do not adapt to the dangerous impacts of extreme heat, new research finds. The paper, published in Nature Communications, assesses the…
Read more

ERCOT may start rolling blackouts in Texas. Here’s how to prepare.

By Elizabeth Sander   08/24/23  
The extreme heat facing Texas is straining the power grid and ERCOT might need to initiate emergency conditions that could result in rolling blackouts across the state.
Read more

What Happens When the Heat Repeats?

By Kylie Mohr   08/24/23  
For two years now, scientists, shellfish managers, and tribes have been working to understand how the heat dome that settled over the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2021 affected the places where the ocean…
Read more

Expanding heat wave engulfing much of Texas threatens Central U.S.

By Rebecca Falconer   08/18/23  
A "dangerous," intensifying heat wave was forecast to bring numerous daily high record temperatures in the Central and Southeast U.S. from Friday and expand to much of the Lower 48 states by next week.
Read more

Average Gulf Coast temperatures reach record highs

By Zack Budryk   08/16/23  
The Gulf of Mexico reached record heat in the first half of August, setting the stage for an intense hurricane season in a region that is no stranger to devastating storms.
Read more

Volcanic eruption may be boosting global heat wave

By Andrew Freedman   08/14/23  
A climate science debate is simmering over how much of 2023's record warmth is due to human-caused factors, chiefly the burning of fossil fuels, and the role of other influences.
Read more

July 2023 Temperature Update

By Robert Rohde   08/14/23  
Globally, July 2023 was the warmest July — and the warmest month of any kind — since records began in 1850. The previous record for warmest month was broken by a large margin. Both land…
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August 2023 El Niño update: back to school

By Emily Becker   08/10/23  
It’s that time again! And by “that time,” I mean the El Niño forecast update, of course. The chance that El Niño—the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (aka “ENSO”) climate pattern—will continue…
Read more

Texas Power Prices to Surge 800% on Sunday Amid Searing Heat

By Naureen S Malik   08/08/23  
Texas power prices for Sunday surged more than 800% as searing heat pushes demand toward record levels and strains supplies on the state grid.
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Hottest July on Record Kills Hundreds of Cows

By Angely Mercado   08/08/23  
Alarming heat and humidity killed hundreds of cows in Iowa last month. These losses have further decreased the size of the overall U.S. cattle herd, which has shrunk to a more than 50-year low. The…
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This Scorching Summer Is Taking a Toll on Your Favorite Foods

By Maryn McKenna   08/04/23  
ON THE MAP of the US Drought Monitor, a joint project of federal agencies and the University of Nebraska, colored warnings cover the landscape. It’s abnormally dry in Michigan. Minnesota is in moderate drought. A…
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Boiling Point: For better and for worse

By Sammy Roth   08/03/23  
With scorching heat prompting Americans to crank up their air conditioners, power companies have responded by cranking up their gas plants. That’s according to the Washington Post’s Timothy Puko, who cites data showing that the…
Read more