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Updated Jul 11, 2014 - 11:23 am

Climate expert scoffs at dire Arizona heat predictions for next century

PHOENIX -- A Valley climate expert said a recent report that claimed Phoenix summers could be 10 degrees warmer by the end of the century is flawed.

Arizona State University climate scientist Randy Cerveny said the Climate Central study which said greenhouse gases will push summertime temperatures in Arizona to an average of 114 degrees by 2100 left out a big piece of the puzzle: monsoon humidity. That dampening stabilizes temperatures.

"When we get the water coming in from Mexico that actually holds in the heat and keeps our temperatures more moderate at 105," Cerveny said.

The study had another critical flaw, Cerveny said. It didn't factor in nighttime lows.

"Their methodology of this report is fundamentally flawed," he said. "They even state their study did not include humidity or dew point in its temperature analysis and assumes greenhouse gas emissions increase as they have over the past few decades.

"They don't account for the fact that emissions influence temperatures more during nighttime rather than daytime, they simply just tacked the estimated warming onto current high temperature."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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