Bill Nye says extreme weather, record heat is ‘beginning of the new normal’

Science educator Bill Nye said that extreme weather and record-breaking heat can be the start of a “new normal.”

Nye made an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss the latest heat wave that has blistered many parts of the United States in recent days. Host Martha Raddatz asked if this sort of heat may become the “new normal.”

“It’s the beginning of the new normal, with respect. So the latest — the latest research is that there’s not a turning point or a tipping point or a knee in the curve. It’s just going to get hotter and hotter and worse and worse and more and more extreme,” he said.

“So this is a taste of the normal of the future unless we, humankind, get to work and address it,” he added.

Large parts of the U.S. have been impacted by a heat dome, which is caused by a high-pressure system in the Earth’s upper atmosphere that compresses the air beneath it. The heat wave has moved across the U.S., delivering temperatures in the high 90s and some reports of triple-digit temperatures.

The heat is expected to continue to bring sweltering temperatures to the mid-Atlantic region Sunday before moving south early this week.

Nye said the world has “a situation now where El Niño is giving way to La Niña, where there’s a cooling in the Pacific Ocean which, strangely enough, leads to more hurricanes because there’s less vertical sheer, as we say, in the Atlantic.” He said that all the heat trapped in the atmosphere “has worked its way into the ocean.”

“So we have a situation where we’re going to have this extreme heat and these crazy heat domes, these high-pressure systems that don’t move, and there are no clouds to reflect sunlight into space; they just get hotter and hotter,” he said. “And then we’re having these extreme weather events, big rain and wind coming in from the southeast to North America.”

“So this is everything going the wrong way at once,” he added.

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