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Waste heat affects climate over miles

world Updated: Jan 29, 2013 00:09 IST

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In a new study that shows the extent to which human activities are influencing the atmosphere, scientists have concluded that the heat generated by everyday activities in metropolitan areas alters the character of the jet stream and other major atmospheric systems.

This affects temperatures across thousands of miles, significantly warming some areas and cooling others, according to the study.

The extra ‘waste heat’ generated from buildings, cars, and other sources in major Northern Hemisphere urban areas causes winter warming across large areas of northern North American and northern Asia.

Temperatures in some remote areas increase by as much as 1°C, according to scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego Florida State University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.