Monday, August 06, 2012

The Summer of 2012 -- Too Hot to Handle?

That's the caption on an article from NASA Science News.
Stealing the first few paragraphs:
August 3, 2012: This past June more than 170 all-time US heat records were tied or broken--many of them originally set in the historically hotter months of July and August. And with a drought plaguing much of the country, the ground is as dry and crispy as a saltine cracker.
By early July, 56% of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought. That's the largest percentage in the 12-year record of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Fires scorched over 1.3 million acres across the US in June, reducing hundreds of homes to ashes in the West.
Just imagining prospects for the rest of the summer is enough to bring sweat to your brow. And last winter is partly to blame.
"799 daytime heat records were broken in the first five days of January in the US," says Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. "Last year's was the fourth warmest winter since 1895. And it was dry, with a dearth of snowfall in many places. During most of this past winter and spring, a positive North Atlantic Oscillation pressure pattern kept the jet stream further north and the US warmer and drier than normal."

At the end of the article, a climatologist from NASA and a scientist from the University of Alabama Hunstville, disagreeing on whether we have global warming, both agree we need better models.

An interesting look at the problem, without a lot of nasty adjectives.
Summer of 2012

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