Global warming will change the length of the four seasons, suggests a new study, potentially making six-month summers the norm in the northern hemisphere by 2100.
On the other hand, winters could last less than two months a year, while spring and fall were also shorter. These drastic seasonal changes are said to have far-reaching impacts on the world, disrupting agriculture and animal behavior, increasing the frequency of heat waves, storms and forest fires, and ultimately posing “risks. increased for humanity, ”the study authors wrote.
“Tropical mosquitoes carrying the virus are likely to spread northwards and cause explosive epidemics during longer, hotter summers,” the researchers wrote in their study published Feb. 19 in the journal. Geophysical research letters.
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These and other potential impacts “heighten the urgency to understand” how the seasons change with climate changeand whether this transformation will continue in the future.
To find out, the study authors looked at historical daily temperature data from 1952 to 2011 in the northern hemisphere. Specifically, they wanted to see how the start of the new seasons changed from year to year. The team defined the onset of summer as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25%, averaging from 1952 to 2011. They defined winter as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25%. cold of the same period, while autumn and spring were between.
The researchers found that on average, summer lengthened from 78 to 95 days between 1952 and 2011. During this time, winter fell from 76 to 73 days. The transition seasons have also declined, with a shortening of spring from 124 to 115 days and fall from 87 to 82 days. Average temperatures changed accordingly during this period; summer and winter got hotter.
The team also used climate models to predict how much the seasons are likely to change in the future. In the status quo scenario (i.e. no effort is made to mitigate global warming), spring and summer will start a month earlier in 2100 than in 2011, while the fall and winter will start half a month later. As a result, the northern hemisphere will spend more than half of the year in summer – and average summer temperatures are should only increase.
This seasonal change would impact everything from bird migration to crop growth, affecting virtually every aspect of Earththe biosphere, the team wrote. Preventing the most shocking changes in the seasons of our planet in the future starts with a drastic reduction carbon dioxide emission now.
Originally posted on Live Science.