More heat waves on the coast could mean more air conditioners along the beach

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Those of us living along the beach may want to install an air conditioner.

A new study finds climate change is causing heat waves that often hit California's inland areas with triple-digit temperatures to move towards the coast.

One of the study's authors is Alexander Gershunov. He’s a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

“Normally, the marine layer protects the coast form inland heat, but more and more we’re seeing the absence of the marine layer during heat waves which makes them express much more intensely compared to normal cool conditions,” he said.

He said researchers have studied heat waves before, but this time they focused on specific areas to understand heat waves from a more local perspective.

The study also found that the duration and humidity of heat waves is increasing across six different sub-regions in California.

The definition of a heat wave depends on where you are. Gerhsnov said he'd consider any temperature above the 100 degree mark in the desert areas and in the 90s along the coast to be a heat wave.

He said he worries an uptick in heat waves will impact the state’s energy demand.

“People will probably end up installing a lot more air conditioning along the coast and that will require a lot more energy," he said. "And unless the energy is produced in some renewable fashion, then it may contribute and feed back onto the global climate change which is causing the trend in heat wave activity in the first place.”

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