If you’ve been suffering through the current heat wave, here’s some bad news: the number of days with extreme heat is going to go up dramatically by the middle of the 21st century. A new study from UCLA looked at temperature increases in Southern California, and concluded that the region will see two to six times as many hot days by mid-century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels.

The report is the first to ever predict the local effects of climate change in the area, using information from 22 different global climate models. The study suggests that temperatures will rise an average of 4.6 degrees. In Los Angeles, there may be three times as many extremely hot days, with variation among city neighborhoods. Dense areas like downtown LA will get hotter than areas on the coast. Outside the city, valleys, mountains and deserts will see an even bigger increase in temperature.


Even if global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, scientists say that there will still be significant warming in the area. “The changes our region will face are significant, and we will have to adapt,” said UCLA Professor Alex Hall, author of the study.

“I think for many people, climate change still feels like a nebulous, abstract, potential future change, and this makes it more real,” Hall said. “It’s eye-opening to see how much it will warm where you live. This data lays a foundation for really confronting this issue, and I’m very optimistic that we can confront and adapt to a changing climate.”

Main image credit: Flickr user bossco.