Wednesday, October 4, 2006
By Beth Daley, Globe Staff
Summers in Boston will feel like July and August in South Carolina by the end of the century if global warming is allowed to continue unchecked, according to a new scientific report released this morning.
A team of 14 scientists and the Cambridge-based Union of Concerned Scientists have produced the most detailed look at what the Northeast will feel like in an ever-warming world. They spent two years examining two scenarios: If the world switches to more renewable power that will slow global warming, and if it does not.
Even if fossil fuels are largely abandoned, Boston will go from about 10 days a year over 90 degrees Fahrenheit now to about 25 days by mid-century because of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. If the use of fossil fuels, like gasoline, remains unchanged, the temperature could top 90 degrees more than 60 days a year by the end of the century, the scientists said.
The study also predicted less snow, more extreme storms and frequent droughts -– key events that could harm tourism, agriculture and the region's economy.
"The very notion of the Northeast as we know it is at stake," said Cameron Wake, an author of the report and an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Climate Change Research Center. "The near-term emissions choices we make in the Northeast and throughout the world will help determine the climate and quality of life our children and grandchildren experience."