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Summers In Northern Hemisphere Could Last Half A Year By 2100, Scientists Say

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Summers In Northern Hemisphere Could Last Half A Year By 2100, Scientists Say

Summers in the Northern Hemisphere could last as long as six months by 2100, according to a new study exploring the effects of global warming on our seasons.

Researchers predict that if nothing is done to help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, summers could reach half a year in length by the end of this century, with winter lasting less than two months.

In the study, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists looked at the changes in the length of seasons across the Northern Hemisphere, examining climate data ranging from 1952 to 2011.

For each year, the team identified the onset of summer by finding out the period that had the highest 25 percent of temperatures, with winter seasons identified by periods with the lowest 25 percent of temperatures.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

They found that summers grew from 78 days to 95 days, while other seasons shrunk - with winters reducing from 76 days to 73, autumn from 87 days to 82 and spring from 124 days to 115.

The authors wrote in their abstract: "Increasing evidence suggests that the length of a single season or in regional scales has changed under global warming, but a hemispherical-scale response of the four seasons in the past and future remains unknown.

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"We find that summer in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes has lengthened, whereas winter has shortened, owing to shifts in their onsets and withdrawals, accompanied by shorter spring and autumn.

"Such changes in lengths and onsets can be mainly attributed to greenhouse-warming. Even if the current warming rate does not accelerate, changes in seasons will still be exacerbated in the future.

"Under the business-as-usual scenario, summer is projected to last nearly half a year, but winter less than two months by 2100."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In the study, researchers say the changing seasonal clock signifies 'disturbed agriculture seasons and rhythm of species activities, more frequent heat waves, storms and wildfires', adding that this results in 'increased risks to humanity'.

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Author Yuping Guan in a statement: "Summers are getting longer and hotter while winters shorter and warmer due to global warming."

Guan added: "Numerous studies have already shown that the changing seasons cause significant environmental and health risks."

For instance, such longer summers could trigger extended pollen season, in turn exacerbating seasonal allergies.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, Weather, World News, Summer, News

Jess Hardiman
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