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NASA: Summer Temperatures May Rise 10 Degrees by 2080

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Average daily high temperatures in in July 2085 (left) and July 1993 (right). Green is 86 degrees Fahrenheit, yellow 93, red 100, dark purple 108. (NASA/GISS)

A new NASA study projects that the eastern United States may see summer temperatures rise by 10 degrees by 2080 if carbon dioxide emissions continue to grow.

"There is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures in the future, especially during summers with less-than-average frequent rainfall," according to lead study author Barry Lynn of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University in New York City.

In drier summers, July and August temperatures in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C., could regularly peak at between 100 and 110 degrees every day, the study finds.

• Click here to read the NASA press release, and here to view an animation of rising temperatures worldwide between 1880 and 2006.

Basically, the study means that if carbon dioxide emissions are not curbed, any location in the eastern U.S. that averages daytime temperatures of 80 to 85 degrees in July and August can expect daily thermometer readings of 90 to 95 degrees in high summer within about 75 years.

The study used a relatively conservative projection method, dubbed the "business-as-usual" model, in which the rate of increase of carbon-dioxide emissions continues at its present pace, about 2 percent per year.

It also focused exclusively on the eastern U.S., excluding data from the rest of the country and the world.