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UCSB Climate Hazards Group tracks record-breaking heat worldwide

Brace yourself for another heatwave, another round of record-breaking temperatures up and down the coast.

Geography scientists at UCSB are keeping track, both here at home and across the globe.

“Our group makes temperatures and rainfall products,” said Senior UCSB/USGS Research Geographer Chris Funk.

“This is a product we’re working on now, a Standardized Temperature Infrared Data set.”

Funk heads up the University’s Climate Hazards Group which helps support the Famine Early Warning Systems Network and works closely with NASA and NOAA.

“We’re not just getting warming that goes like this,” Funk said while slowly raising both hands. “That warming will be like wack-a-mole, pop up here, pop up here and potentially, cause a lot of trouble.”

Maps and graphs track warming trends across the globe, both on land and sea surfaces, which Funk directly links to emissions and greenhouse gases.

“What’s really concerning to me as a climate scientists is that this warming has been persistent over the last year,” Funk said.

The scientists said the warming trends we’ve seen in recent years are based on an increase of just 2 degrees Fahrenheit and if emissions continue at this pace, that warming trend jumps up 8 degrees. His data reveals that if it’s hot in California and parts of the U.S., it is also heating up in Africa, Asia and other continents as well.

Heat-related impacts that we’re seeing in California, such as drought and extreme wildfires, are also happening in places like Sweden, Finland, North Africa, among many others. Funk said just this week alone, Sweden recorded 40 to 50 wildfires.

“A lot of the times when it’s really warm here the global systems that produce drought will also be really active in E. Africa,” Funk said. “It’s taken me a lot of years to appreciate and understand these connections.”

Funk has provided two sites for more information. Click here for up to date maps of Western US temperature:

US climate change predictions:

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