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Odds For Record-Breaking Heat Events Have 'Doubled Or Tripled' Due To Climate Change, Experts Say

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — More days spent at the pool, in the shade or by the air conditioner are the side effects of hotter summer days that may become more frequent over the next decade, according to climate experts.

Historically, the Sacramento region has experienced between two to six extreme heat days, but due to global warming, that number is now closer to eight extreme heat days every year, according to Paul Ullrich, a Professor of Regional Climate Modeling at UC Davis.

Ullrich explained factors that contribute to rising temperatures globally are human activity and fossil fuel burning.

Since 1900, the average air temperature of the earth has increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius, which is comparable to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The odds of a record heat event or extreme heat day have doubled or tripled, according to a professor and fellow at Stanford, Noah Diffenbaugh.

"These types of conditions are increasing, it's not just your imagination," Diffenbaugh said. 

On Friday, when many areas in the Sacramento region experienced triple digits, CBS13 talked to people out and about, trying to beat the heat. One couple, who sold their car, said they have to get out earlier in the day before peak temperatures.

Another couple told CBS13 they changed their workout routine because of heat warnings.

"We went straight to the swimming pool at 8 a.m. this morning. So that's how we're keeping cool," Naomi Jimenez said.

Were Climate Change and Global Warning on their minds? One person told CBS13 he knows that's why summers feel hotter and last longer.

"It's just got worse in the last five years, it got hotter and hotter, and it seems longer. Everything is dry, dry everywhere," Robert Alvarez said.

What can be done? Experts told CBS13 how much more temperatures rise will depend on greenhouse gas emissions. There's no quick fix, but they suggested planting more trees to produce more shade and use energy-efficient appliances.

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