Climate, Extreme Heat, and Electricity Demand in California

Norman L Miller, Katharine Hayhoe, Jiming Jin, Maximilian Auffhammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Over the twenty-first century, the frequency of extreme-heat events for major cities in heavily air conditioned California is projected to increase rapidly. Extreme heat is defined here as the temperature threshold for the 90th-percentile excedence probability (T90) of the local warmest summer days under the current climate. Climate projections from three atmosphere–ocean general circulation models, with a range of low to midhigh temperature sensitivity forced by the Special Report on Emission Scenarios higher, middle, and lower emission scenarios, indicate that these increases in temperature extremes and variance are projected to exceed the rate of increase in mean temperature. Overall, projected increases in extreme heat under the higher A1fi emission scenario by 2070–99 tend to be 20%–30% higher than those projected under the lower B1 emission scenario. Increases range from approximately 2 times the present-day number of days for inland California cities (e.g., Sacramento and Fresn
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1834-1844
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
StatePublished - Jun 2008


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