Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NASA study shows that first half of 2010 is the hottest on record.

Following fast on the heels of the hottest Jan-May — and spring — in the temperature record, it’s also the hottest Jan-June on record in the NASA dataset [click on figure to enlarge].

It’s all the more powerful evidence of human-caused warming “because it occurs when the recent minimum of solar irradiance is having its maximum cooling effect,” as a recent must-read NASA paper notes.

Remember last winter when the east coast of the U.S. experienced some pretty good snowstorms? And do you also remember the wingnuts, such as Rush Limbaugh and many others, screaming at the top of their lungs about how the presence of snow pretty much repudiated the concept of global warming and climate change? I certainly do, although I am pretty sure that Rush would never use the word "repudiate."

Well, where are they now? Are they going to say something about this data? No, I don’t suppose not.

Chart and quoted text from Climate Progress, via HuffPo.

And if that isn't bad enough news, here's some news of the near future from Stanford University.

Exceptionally long heat waves and other hot events could become commonplace in the United States in the next 30 years, according to a new study by Stanford University climate scientists.

"Using a large suite of climate model experiments, we see a clear emergence of much more intense, hot conditions in the U.S. within the next three decades," said Noah Diffenbaugh, an assistant professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford and the lead author of the study.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), Diffenbaugh concluded that hot temperature extremes could become frequent events in the U.S. by 2039, posing serious risks to agriculture and human health.

"In the next 30 years, we could see an increase in heat waves like the one now occurring in the eastern United States or the kind that swept across Europe in 2003 that caused tens of thousands of fatalities," said Diffenbaugh, a center fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment. "Those kinds of severe heat events also put enormous stress on major crops like corn, soybean, cotton and wine grapes, causing a significant reduction in yields."

I find it almost a relief that I won't be around to witness the worst of the looming environmental catastrophe. I do worry about what kind of life my daughter and her family might find for themselves.

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