A new study from the University of Tennessee indicates that the eastern United States will be hotter and much wetter by the middle of the century.
Heat waves will become more severe in most regions of the Northeast and Southeast U.S. with a sharp increase in precipitation, which would obviously lead to more widespread, severe flooding events.
Harnessing supercomputing power of UT’s Kraken and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Jaguar (now Titan, the fastest in the world), the researchers combined high-resolution topography, land use information and climate modeling. Then, they used dynamical downscaling to develop their climate model results. Dynamical downscaling allowed the researchers to develop climate scales as small as four square kilometers, according to the University of Tennessee's Tennessee Today.
The researchers analyzed the present-day climate from 2001-04 and projected the future climate from 2057-59.
In comparing present climate to future, the researchers found that heat waves will become more severe throughout the eastern part of the nation.
The results also showed that there will be a greater increase in heat waves in the Northeast and eastern Midwest compared to the Southeast, which could almost equalize the temperatures between the future Northeast/Midwest and the current South.
The Northeast and eastern Midwest will experience a greater increase in heat waves than the Southeast, which will almost equalize the temperatures between the future North and current South.
Also, both the Northeast and Southeast will experience an increase of precipitation of 35 percent or more. Most coastal states will see the greatest increase, of about 6 inches (150 millimeters) a year.
The findings are published in the November 6 edition of Environmental Research Letters.
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