Southern California breaking news and trends

New study links current events to climate changes

global warming

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Sailboats and a floating dock lie on the dry, cracked dirt in a harbor at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City during a 2011 drought.

The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare that it can't be anything but man-made global warming, says a new statistical analysis from a top government scientist.

The research by a man often called the "godfather of global warming" says that the likelihood of such temperatures occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by NASA scientist James Hansen. He says that statistically what's happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change.

"This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact," Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.

Hansen is a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University. But he is also a strident activist who has called for government action to curb greenhouse gases for years. While his study was published online Saturday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, it is unlikely to sway opinion among the remaining climate change skeptics.


New study predicts LA's future climate down to the neighborhood level

beach umbrella weather hot heat

Photo by Matt Niemi via Flickr Creative Commons

And now, with a look at the extended forecast for 2041 to 2060, is UCLA with a report that may have some Southland residents sweating... 

UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability released a study Thursday that takes a look at Southern California climate trends, and sees a mid-century future that could tap the thermometer up 4 to 5 degrees across the region.

The study, "Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region," shows impact on the Southland's varied landscapes with predictions down to the neighborhood level. In downtown L.A., where a record high was set in 2010 at 113 degrees, the number days to top 95 degrees could triple, for example.