So Far 2012 Has Been A Year Of Record High Temperatures

The AP reports that it’s not just March, but the entire start of 2012 that has seen high temperature records shattered. March was 8.6 degrees above normal for the lower 48 states and the first three months of 2012 combined were 6 degrees above normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

AP – Not just March, but start of 2012 shatter US records for heat, worrying meteorologists

“Everybody has this uneasy feeling. This is weird. This is not good,” said Jerry Meehl, a climate scientist who specializes in extreme weather at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “It’s a guilty pleasure. You’re out enjoying this nice March weather, but you know it’s not a good thing.”

Of course month to month and year to year variances in temperature is not proof of climate change, but I can’t help but think “‘frog on a hot plate,” particularly when it comes to climate change deniers. For example, we have evidence of massive ice melting and global temperature increase over the past century.

Bye Bye Snow and Ice (and a Whole Lot More)

We’ve heard a lot about the life-threatening challenges facing penguins and polar bears as snow and ice disappear. But what about all the other life of the cryosphere—the parts of Earth where water is in its solid state for at least one month of the year (map below)? From a new paper in Bioscience:

Global average air temperature has warmed by 1 Celsius (°C) over the past century, and in response, the cryosphere—the part of the Earth’s surface most influenced by ice and snow—is changing. Specifically, alpine glaciers are retreating, the expanse of Arctic sea ice has been shrinking, the thickness and duration of winter snowpacks are diminishing, permafrost has been melting, and the ice cover on lakes and rivers has been appearing later in the year and melting out earlier. Although these changes are relatively well documented, the ecological responses and long-term consequences that they initiate are not.

We also have seen strange and violent weather patterns over recent years, and now this year we are seeing record heat during the winter and early spring months. Any one of these events on their own is not proof of climate change but when combined it paints a picture of a changing global climate.

dks

photo by Kati Szalay

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