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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2018, Article ID 7827984, 16 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7827984
Research Article

Projections of Heat Waves Events in the Intra-Americas Region Using Multimodel Ensemble

1Mechanical Engineering Department, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR 00918, USA
2NOAA-CREST, City College of New York, New York, NY 1031, USA
3Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR 00680, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Jorge E. González-Cruz; ude.ynuc.yncc@zurczelaznogj

Received 22 June 2017; Revised 11 December 2017; Accepted 18 December 2017; Published 22 January 2018

Academic Editor: Annalisa Cherchi

Copyright © 2018 Moises Angeles-Malaspina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Significant accelerated warming of the Sea Surface Temperature of 0.15°C per decade (1982–2012) was recently detected, which motivated the research for the present consequences and future projections on the heat index and heat waves in the intra-Americas region. Present records every six hours are retrieved from NCEP reanalysis (1948–2015) to calculate heat waves changes. Heat index intensification has been detected in the region since 1998 and driven by surface pressure changes, sinking air enhancement, and warm/weaker cold advection. This regional warmer atmosphere leads to heat waves intensification with changes in both frequency and maximum amplitude distribution. Future projections using a multimodel ensemble mean for five global circulation models were used to project heat waves in the future under two scenarios: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Massive heat waves events were projected at the end of the 21st century, particularly in the RCP8.5 scenario. Consequently, the regional climate change in the current time and in the future will require special attention to mitigate the more intense and frequent heat waves impacts on human health, countries’ economies, and energy demands in the IAR.