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It's Getting Hot...So Hot

Posted by libhom Wednesday, May 19, 2010

stop sign with sticker that says global warming under stop
Photo: katiecampbell

The climate, that is. From Climate Progress 5/17/10:

NOAA: Hottest April and hottest Jan-April on record


NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center has published its monthly “State of the Climate Report.” It pretty much matches the NASA data.

An emeritus physics professor writes me cautioning against the use of the word ‘anomaly’ since, “In many people’s mind, the word ‘anomaly’ means something unusual that is a temporary phenomenon.” He suggests “change,” which is probably better.

Certainly for those who are communicating to the general public, like NOAA and NASA, ‘anomaly’ is a confusing word as used in these charts. And that is especially true because the recent temperature trend is anything but an anomaly — it is in fact a prediction of basic climate science.

Indeed, besides the record April and record Jan-April, NOAA itself explain:

This was also the 34th consecutive April with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th century average.

So, yes, that isn’t really an anomaly any more — unless of course you are in the anti-science crowd, in which case the whole thing is one big mysterious deviation from the norm.

As for the oceans, NOAA points out:

The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 16.0°C (60.9°F) and the warmest April on record. The warmth was most pronounced in the equatorial portions of the major oceans, especially the Atlantic.

One of the things I've noticed about Global Warming is that it has dramatically increased the amount of weird weather we experience. A few years ago, Brooklyn had its first tornado in decades. This year, we had one of the most intense Noreasters in at least 30 or 40 years, and it was a rain event here in NYC. Philadelphia and DC got extreme amounts of snow this winter, much more than we got here in the Big Mango. Average weather conditions have become the exception rather than the rule.

Anomalies are becoming the new normal.



  1. Louis Flores Says:
  2. When you wrote that, "Anomalies are becoming the new normal," I couldn't have put it any better. My biggest fear is what the BP Oil Spill is going to do to the entire Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

  3. Dark Daughta Says:
  4. Downtown Toronto had tornadoes set down last year but in truth we've been having extraordinarily high "wind storms" not defined as tornadoes until last year, for years.



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