NOAA update to cement warmer climate as new normal

A man cools off with water spray.
A man cools off with water spray frames set along the central street of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv during a heat wave in August 2019.
Sergei Supinsky | AFP via Getty Images 2019

You hear a lot about averages and normals in weather forecasts — above-average temperatures, below-normal snowfall. Well, those averages are about to be updated. And there’s concern the new normals could mask the magnitude of climate change.

While the decennial process helps climate scientists look at long-term trends, “it’s going to be harder for [meteorologists] to come on air and say a given day was above average because we’ve shifted to this higher normal in this warmer world,” said Heidi Roop, assistant professor of climate science at the University of Minnesota.

Roop joined Climate Cast this week. Click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast for more.

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