Why is the storm so historically strong? NOAA blames warm deep water. When climate science deniers claim a global warming "pause," the heat isn't missing - it's right there lurking in the ocean, waiting to put super typhoons on steroids.
Better burn all the coal and oil while we still can.
Predictions that a major El Niño warming event - and the coming solar maximum - would help make next year the warmest on record now seem wide of the mark. All eyes will probably be on the Arctic instead. Some say the record loss of sea ice in summer 2012 was a one-off, others that it was the start of a runaway collapse. If the latter, summer sea ice could virtually disappear as early as 2016. What is certain is that the ice reforming now will be the thinnest on record, priming it for destruction next summer. [...]Learn more about how global warming is fueling extreme weather.
Research in 2012 implicated the fast-warming Arctic in a slowing of the jet stream. This is bringing extreme weather to mid-latitudes, including prolonged cold spells in Europe, Russia's 2010 heatwave, and record droughts in the US in 2011 and 2012. Watch out for more weird weather in 2013.
Mainstream media coverage of Friday night's extreme storms in the Mid-Atlantic region shows no sign of hoppiness:
- The Washington Post has no mention of climate impacts in its main story on the storm. Even its sidebar story detailing the record-shattering temperatures that fueled the derecho waits until its final sentence to say the rare storm "raises the question about the possible role of man-made climate warming" - but says any judgement must be left to
after the frog has already boiledfuture case studies. Next to the storm coverage is an in-depth look at tar sands, one of the most carbon pollution-intensive fuels on the planet, but true to modern American journalism's View From Nowhere, the Post makes no connection between the two stories, not even on the editorial page.
- The New York Times and CNN.com make no mention of climate change in their stories on the storms. Last night, CBS Radio News blamed the storms on "Mother Nature," skipping past ignorance to outright denial.
- Meanwhile out West, the Associated Press reports nationwide droughts are canceling fireworks displays for many states. Climate scientists have been warning for years that global warming will result in deeper droughts and more intense wildfires, yet the AP makes no mention of climate impacts.
With the dew point at 70 degrees, it feels like 111 degrees right now. How fast is global warming rewriting our temperature records? The old June record was just tied last year, a 102 degree day on June 9, 2011. (Globally, 2012 has been nearly a full degree above the 20th century average.)
At 101 degrees, Roanoke is having its hottest June day in 53 years & overnight had its hottest "low" ever at 82 degrees. Richmond has already tied its all-time high for June 29th & it's possible it could break the record. It's 97 right now in Hampton, two degrees above the forecast high but still short of the record for the date (100 degrees).
What's it like where you are?
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Rather than minutes or hours, Americans in the possible path of a hurricane have to make a decision. Days ahead. Do I evacuate? Do I believe the forecast? There is that cone of uncertainty . . . do I take a chance? Is the science of hurricane forecasting, "settled"? Again of course not, but decisions, human and economic decisions affecting sometimes millions are made, knowing the exact outcome is uncertain.
Supposedly the great Yogi Berra said, "It's tough making predictions, especially about the future". However, we make decisions every day about some prediction whether it is the traffic during rush hour, canceling a weekend picnic or headed with my family to a shelter when I hear a tornado siren.
- 2012's was America's warmest March on record. It didn't just barely break the record by a tiny fraction - it smoked it by half a degree.
- Measured against the historical average, March's 8.6 degree deviation from normal was America's second-largest on record, surpassed only by another recent warm month, January 2006.
- The first three months of 2012 were America's warmest January to March on record.
- Norfolk, VA was 6 degrees above normal & broke its March record by 1 degree
- Green Bay, WI was 10.4 degrees above normal & broke its March record by 4.4 degrees
- Des Moines, IA was 9.8 degrees above normal & broke its March record by 3.7 degrees
- Boston, MA was 6.4 degrees above normal & broke its March record by 1.6 degrees
- Bismarck, ND was 9.1 degrees above normal & broke its March record by 0.5 degrees