“Almost every summer, there is a heat wave somewhere in the US that garners popular media attention.
During such hot spells, daily record high temperatures for various cities are routinely reported in local news reports.
A natural question arises: is global warming the cause of such heat waves or are they merely statistical fluctuations?
Intuitively, record-breaking temperature events should become less frequent with time if the average tem-
perature is stationary.
Thus it is natural to be concerned that global warming is playing a role when there is a proliferation of record-breaking temperature events. In this work, we investigate how systematic climatic changes, such as global warming, affect the magnitude and frequency of record-breaking temperatures.
We then assess the potential role of global warming by comparing our predictions both to record temperature data and to Monte Carlo simulation results…
Read the full article at Cornell University Library here: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0509/0509088.pdf