- Green Minute
- Green Campuses
- Green Media
- Contact Us
As Reported by April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
This past summer has been a record setting season. We have seen the lowest ice extent in the Antarctic, the largest number of wildfires and acres burned, the hottest year to date in the U.S., and the hottest month in 118 years of temperature recordings (July 2012) in the U.S. That brings us up to September, which has just tied for the hottest September globally since 1880.
September 2012 matched the record for September 2005 for global temperatures. This is the third time since 2000 that the world record for September was tied or beaten.
Worldwide last month, the average temperature was 60.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.21 degrees above normal.
According to the Associated Press (AP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt says it might be worth studying to figure out why September, more than any other month, keeps setting records. Andrew Weaver, climate scientist from the University of Victoria, agrees, saying it might be the lengthening of the Northern Hemisphere summer as a result of man-made global warming and continual loss of Arctic sea ice that indirectly helps cool other parts of the world.
Since 2000, this is the 16th time that a global temperature record has been set or tied. In comparison, the last time a cold temperature record was set was in December 1916, nearly 96 years ago. This is also the eighth warmest year globally for the January – September time period.
Weaver attributes these record-setting trends to man-made global warming at work.
“What’s playing out is precisely what climate said we should expect to see 20 to 30 years ago,” Weaver said.
World temperatures have been higher than normal for most of this year, but not record setting. The U.S. however, has continually set heat records all year. In September, the trend reversed itself. The global temperatures set a record, but the U.S. ranked it as only the 23rd hottest September. The heat was most intense in South America, Japan, Russia, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean, despite being widespread.
“Nearly all of South America was much warmer than average as were western Australia and central to eastern Europe,” NOAA said, adding that “far eastern Russia, a few regions in southern Africa, and parts of China were cooler than average.”
Arndt and Weaver say two factors may be in play. The La Nina oscillation ended recently. La Nina is the flip side of El Nino and tends to depress global temperatures slightly. The second factor is that the Arctic was unusually warm with record sea ice melts. Both of these factors alter weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Even more scary is the fact that this was the 331st consecutive month with global temperatures above the 20th century average.
Global warming skeptics have been pointing to data that a London newspaper claims shows no warming since 1997. The UK meteorological office, however, said the claims are very misleading.
“I don’t know what data they are looking at,” Weaver said. “2010 is the warmest year. 2005 is the second warmest year.”
According to NOAA’s records, the top ten warmest years on record have all occurred after 1997 when global warming supposedly stopped, according to the skeptics.