And a new report says such uncomfortable and dangerous weather extremes will become more and more common as we turn the corner into the next century.
The report, from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says the temperature change will be as much as seven degrees, a full degree warmer than scientists thought. And the U.S. will warm even faster.
Eileen Claussen of the Pew Center said a single-digit temperature increase could produce dramatic climatic changes.
"The four to seven degrees that we expect to see over the next hundred years is as much as it took from the beginning of the ice age t the end of the ice age, and that was over thousands of years," she said.
The most certain results: More intense rain and snow. More suffocating days in the summer. And wetter, possibly more frequent and intense hurricanes.
And scientists say there will be other dramatic changes that affect everyone. Different crops will or won't grow in certain regions. Sea and river levels will rise, affecting where people can live.
In the meantime, the dire projections may just put these sweltering days of summer into perspective. Because if they're right, things will get a lot hotter in the new millennium.
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