The Miami, Florida area experienced its hottest week on record in June 2020. And nine of Miami’s 10 hottest days since 1937 have occurred in the past three years. These trends point to a global phenomenon of a climate speedily heating up. September 2020 was the hottest month worldwide on record since 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
This trend is expected to continue if current conditions persist. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released data outlining how temperature and rainfall patterns could change throughout the world through the year 2100 due to mounting levels of greenhouse gases being emitted in the Earth’s atmosphere. Summers in the majority of the United States are now warmer that they were in the 1970s. If current emission trends continue, Miami Beach will have 72 more days above 95° by 2100.
Weather describes the conditions in the atmosphere in an area over a short period of time. The weather can fluctuate from day to day and minute to minute. On the other hand, climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a region. A change in climate requires persistent changes in weather conditions over a long period of time. Persistent increasing temperatures are projected to spur a change in climate worldwide.
There is scientific consensus that human activities are causing greater temperature increases than have historically naturally occurred. Population growth has led to a global increase in energy consumption which has released growing levels of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere exacerbating the greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect has a vital role in regulating the temperature on Earth’s surface but higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions are absorbing more heat and causing higher temperatures throughout the planet. In the United States, daily record high temperatures are surpassing daily record low temperatures. A study by the Florida Climate Center found that weather stations in Miami measured a hot season that has increased by at least three weeks between 1950 and 2007. Since Miami Beach is an urban city, the higher temperatures may feel even hotter due to the heat island effect.