Great 2006 Heat Wave Over California and Nevada: Signal of an Increasing Trend

The July 2006 western heat wave is studied in the context of the region's climate over the past six decades. The study explores the possible connections between a heat wave trend and global warming and details the increased human health and ecosystems risks of night time extreme heat events. The authors describe the climatic behavior and regional causes of great heat waves over California and Nevada, and use this foundation to investigate whether and to what extent the 2006 event may be considered an aberration or a manifestation of a long term climatic change.  The study concludes that while heat waves may be unique in their regional causes and details, their observed changes may be largely emblematic in terms of heat wave activity globally, and suggests a direct and increasing link between regional heat waves and global climate change.

Publication Date: December 1, 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Alexander Gershunov
  • Danial R. Cayan
  • Sam F. Iacobellis

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Resource Types:

  • Case study

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