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Climate IQ: Connection between climate change and heat waves


Meteorologist Brittany Van Voorhees talks with an expert at NOAA about how this impacts us in the Charlotte area. CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Extreme heat events are happening more often — not just in Charlotte, but across the United States.

As we enter into the historically hottest time of the year across the Carolinas, our team wanted to take a closer look at the connection between heat waves and climate change.

“We cannot single out a single event, connected to climate change and heat waves, but it’s more so a combination of effects,” Hosmay Lopez , an oceanographer and heat wave expert at NOAA, said.

Looking at the connection between any singular weather event and climate change is too small scale. Climate in general, and especially climate change, is all about trends and patterns. Are we trending up? Are we trending down? Are things becoming more or less?

The connection between climate change and heat waves is that they’re becoming more frequent, more intense, and more long-term.

New data from NOAA surveyed 50 metropolitan cities across the United States from 1961 to 2019. They found: Heat wave frequency increased from an average of two heat waves per year during the 1960s to six during […]

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