Researchers: Summer is getting longer, winter is getting shorter

While summer will official last until Sept. 22, there is a chance that, globally, summer months could grow longer due to warmer temperatures.

Posted Updated
Average temperatures climbing at RDU
Peta Sheerwood
, WRAL meteorologist

Summer is officially here.

While summer will officially last until Sept. 22, there is a chance that, globally, summer months could grow longer due to warmer temperatures.

Based off research published in the Geophysical Research Letters, summer-like temperatures are arriving earlier and sticking around longer. In the long run, this could result in longer summers.

According to a research letter titled "Changing Lengths of Four Seasons by Global Warming," this change in our temperatures long-term could ultimately throw off the ecosystems. Flowers could bud earlier, birds could migrate more northward and there could be overall changes in how and where animals live.

An illustration posted on NASA Climate's Twitter channel shows the how the shift in seasons could look over time.

According to the research, “Summer is projected to last nearly half a year, but winter less than two months by 2100. Such changes can trigger a chain of reactions in agriculture, policy-making for agricultural management and disaster prevention requires adjustment accordingly."

On June 21, the first day of summer, temperatures at Raleigh-Durham International Airport made it to 90 degrees. Wednesday, highs are expected to peak nearly seven degrees above normal across the Triangle, while near-record highs will be possible in Fayetteville, which could reach 100 degrees.

Seasonal temperature outlook

According to climate data and Climate Central’s latest operational tool, the Climate Shift Index, a high of 97 degrees in late June indicates human-caused climate change has made that high more and more common.

According to data from 1970 to 2021, the numbers indicate that on average summer temperatures have risen about four degrees.

In addition, summer 2022 is forecast to be hotter across the United States. The seasonal temperature outlook for July through September shows there is a better potential for above-normal highs across the New England coastline and Four Corners region.

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