Bill Nye Tweets 'Just a Little Climate Change' as California Soars to 'Life-threatening' Record High Temperatures

As California temperatures soared to record highs over the weekend, U.S. scientist and author Bill Nye caused a stir on Twitter Sunday after saying the unprecedented heat was indicative of "a little climate change."

In a post to his six million followers, the renowned TV presenter and entertainer—well recognized for his Bill Nye the Science Guy show—shared an image of a large Conant thermometer showing the temperature outside to be surging to 111 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nye, whose social media account lists him as being based in Los Angeles, stirred a wave of debate as users debated the merits of his comment, since attracting hundreds of direct comment replies, more than 15,000 likes and close to 2,000 shares.

111 Fahrenheit. Just a little climate change...

— Bill Nye (@BillNye) September 6, 2020

Nye previously warned about the dangers of climate change during an expletive-ridden bit on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver last year.

"By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees. What I'm saying is the planet is on f***ing fire," Nye said, lighting a globe on fire with a blowtorch.

"There are a lot of things we could do to put it out. Are any of them free? No, of course not. Nothing's free, you idiots. Grow the f*** up. You're not children anymore," he added. "I didn't mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12. But you're adults now, and this is an actual crisis, got it? Safety glasses off, motherf***ers."

Two areas of Los Angeles broke their all-time high temperature records in the past day, according to statistics from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Officials said Woodland Hills in L.A. County reached 121F, up from 119F logged in 2006, and Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County hit 117F, breaking the record of 115F hit in 2017.

Forecasts indicate the heat will continue today, with temperatures gradually cooling but remaining "above normal" for the remainder of the week. There is increased risk of heat-related illness, power outages and large fire growth, analysis has suggested.

"This is an historic heat wave for southwestern California and one that will be remembered for a long time," the NWS said in one recent area forecast discussion.

"It cannot be stressed enough this is a dangerous and life-threatening heat wave, and is among the hottest that has ever occurred in southwestern CA since weather records began. People are urged to use common sense, keep well-hydrated and stay out of the heat and in air- conditioned locations as much as possible. Hiking in mountains could be deadly. The excessive heat warning continues through Mon across the region."

Here are the two sites that broke their all-time high temperature records today. 121° was the highest ever recorded at an official site in L.A. County. Ditto for Paso Robles 117° in San Luis Obispo County. Burbank tied all-time high of 114° from yesterday. #cawx #LAheat #Socal

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) September 7, 2020

Another day of very high temperatures on tap for Labor Day. There will be some limited cooling with best cooling across the L.A. and Ventura County Coast, but still will above normal. There will still be a chance for some broken records as well. #cawx #LAheat #SoCal #LAweather

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) September 7, 2020

Health and weather experts believe climate change is tied to increasingly harsh weather conditions globally, warning that exposure to extreme heat is a real risk to human lives, especially as spells of warming appear to be lasting longer.

"We are particularly concerned that these extreme heat events and the health impacts from them have been increasing in recent years due to climate change," the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health told the Los Angeles Times.

The department has extended extreme heat warnings in multiple areas, with some now expected to have to battle through the temperatures until September 11.

According to Tracking California, extreme heat events are expected to become more common in the years ahead as "human-induced emissions" grow, putting the population at risk.

As unprecedented heat blasts down on those in the state, thousands of San Bernardino County residents have had to be evacuated following the outbreak of a fire that has now spread to more than 7,000 acres, authorities have confirmed.

El Dorado fire, close to Oak Glen, is now believed to have been sparked by a "smoke generating pyrotechnic device used during a gender reveal party," officials said.

El Dorado Fire Cause

— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 7, 2020

"With dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn't take much to start a wildfire. Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said today as videos on social media showed the spreading flames.

On the left, California at 11am this morning from satellite. On the right, the same shot at 7pm this evening. Shows you the enormous amount of smoke sent into the atmosphere from numerous fires that broke out today. #CreekFire #ValleyFire #ElDoradoFire

— Drew Tuma (@DrewTumaABC7) September 6, 2020

Wind, heat and low humidity at the #eldoradofire.

— ReadyBrea (@BreaEM) September 7, 2020

L.A. Public Health has offered the following recommendations for residents during high temperature days:

  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • If you must go out, plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes, and bring a hat or umbrella with you.
  • Cars get very hot. Never leave children or pets in cars and call 911 if you see a child or pet in a car alone.
  • Beware of heat-related illness, like heat stroke and call 911 if you see these symptoms: high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin.
  • Check on those at risk, like those who are sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children, and those who live alone.
  • Avoid strenuous work outs wearing face coverings or masks not intended for athletic purposes; this means avoiding contact with others while you work out.
  • Visit your power company's website or contact them by phone to determine if you are scheduled for a rolling power outage.
Bill Nye
Bill Nye arrives at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty