Congress may be still debating the validity of global warming, despite the opinions of most climate scientists. In the meantime, however, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a stunning new climate report announcing four new major heat records, reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. The lower 48 states set temperature records for the warmest spring, largest seasonal departure from average, warmest year-to-date, and warmest 12-month period, all new marks since records began in 1895. While the globe has been tracking slightly cooler than recent years — thanks partly to the now dissipated La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific — the U.S. has been sizzling. Average springtime temperature in the lower 48 was over 5°F above the 20th century average, breaking the record for the largest temperature departure for any season. Such warming trends are consistent with both the influence of manmade global warming, particularly the prevalence of record warm nighttime temperatures, and natural variability, which has also favored warmer-than-average conditions so far this year. Studies show that as greenhouse gases continue to increase in the atmosphere, the odds of heat extremes are growing as well.
Four Major Heat Records Fall in Stunning NOAA Report, Published: June 7th, 2012, By Andrew Freedman. NOAA report: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/ supplemental data: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/5/supplemental/page-3/