- CRITTER TALK
- SCI/TECH/OTHER STUFF
It doesn’t matter that the vast majority of the world’s scientists, close to 99%, agree that the climate is getting warmer. If that isn’t enough, all one has to do is step outside in places where there should be snow, like Chicago, Illinois, to know that temperatures in the sixties [in January] just isn’t right.
Climate change is the inevitable storm that will affect each and every person on the planet in a most dramatic way within the next 20 years, whether it’s sea level rise, wiping out entire shorelines and islands, to dying crops and wildlife. In Australia the continent has become so warm the map has been changed. In the Western states water will be a commodity more precious than oil, and this will happen, despite the crazy republicans, and those others who acknowledge the science, but refuse to act, such as Barack Obama and many of his democrats.
This past year was the clearly the hottest on record for the 48 contiguous states in the United States, the NOAA announced today, featuring the warmest spring ever, the second warmest summer, the fourth warmest winter, and an above-average autumn. Overall, the average temperature was 55.3 degrees F, or 3.2 degrees F above the 20th-century average. If that wasn’t enough, it also the second-most extreme year on record, based on the US Climate Extremes Index, which takes into account factors like tropical storms, precipitation, and extreme temperatures.
The index came in at almost twice its average level, which makes sense given that 2012 saw 11 disasters that caused more than $1 billion in damage. Precipitation was significantly below average, as you might expect given the massive drought that hit much of the country this summer. The warmth also helped cause the drought; the lack of snow kept the soil dry, and the warm spring pushed up the growing season, draining what water there was from the soil faster.
It’s only just begun.