Climate expert scoffs at dire Arizona heat predictions for next century

Jul 11, 2014, 10:44 AM | Updated: 11:23 am

PHOENIX — A Valley climate expert said a recent report that claimed Phoenix summers could be 10 degrees warmer by the end of the century is flawed.

Arizona State University climate scientist Randy Cerveny said the Climate Central study which said greenhouse gases will push summertime temperatures in Arizona to an average of 114 degrees by 2100 left out a big piece of the puzzle: monsoon humidity. That dampening stabilizes temperatures.

“When we get the water coming in from Mexico that actually holds in the heat and keeps our temperatures more moderate at 105,” Cerveny said.

The study had another critical flaw, Cerveny said. It didn’t factor in nighttime lows.

“Their methodology of this report is fundamentally flawed,” he said. “They even state their study did not include humidity or dew point in its temperature analysis and assumes greenhouse gas emissions increase as they have over the past few decades.

“They don’t account for the fact that emissions influence temperatures more during nighttime rather than daytime, they simply just tacked the estimated warming onto current high temperature.”

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Climate expert scoffs at dire Arizona heat predictions for next century